Thursday, June 27, 2013


The Kangaroo on show to a King

From Eve Chappell, Research Coordinator of the Glen Innes Historical Society, a wonderful update on the 12th Regiments mascot.

“The Petitt family came from Pinkett, a property near Glen Innes.  When war broke out in 1914 the 12th Lighthorse Regiment commanded by Lt.Col Percy Abbott left the New England town for Sydney. Before they left the Petitt family gave the Regiment a kangaroo from their property as a mascot, which was promptly named ‘Bill Petitt’.

“Bill” travelled with the Lighthorse to to Sydney in April of 1915 and left for Egypt in June of the same year.

The Lt Colonel later commented in his diary about the rambunctious behaviour of the kangaroo.  It quite often lay on the hatch covers preventing the men from getting onto the deck.

It’s not certain of “Bill’s” whereabouts while the 12th Regiment was fighting in Gallipoli but it is assumed he continued onto England where he was photographed in 1916 at the Salisbury Plains review by King George V.

At the end of the war “Bill” remained in England and like most mascots more than likely ended up in a zoo.

This splendid photograph of the Royal Review of the troops on Salisbury Plains is on show at the Glen Innes Historical Museum.

Many thanks to Eve, and when visiting the beautiful highlands of New South Wales be sure to drop into the Beardies History House Museum and Research Centre situated on the Gwydir Highway at Glen Innes.


This postscript to a previous blog is also updated in that original blog.  To view click on the link below.

Robyn Mortimer