The 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh has unveiled its most recent recruit – a new regimental GOAT.
Fusilier Llywelyn the goat officially took on the ceremonial role today (Fri) after he was honoured with a ‘passing out’ parade.
The wild goat was picked to be the Wales Infantry mascot from the Royal herd, who live on the north coast of Wales, after demonstrating “more promise than the others”.
He then underwent two months of military training under the watchful eye of Goat Major Fus Matthew Owen to prepare him for army life, before his ‘pass out’ ceremony.
Llywelyn, from Llandudno, Wales, will now live at the regiment’s base at Lucknow Barracks, Wilts., where he will have his own paddock, sleeping area, sofa and radio.
His luxurious daily routine will see him inspected to check cleanliness and well-being and exercised by the Goat Major, who is in charge of caring for him.
He will also accompany the regiment on ceremonial duties – and has even been invited to a parade in London as part of the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.
His first job was to lead a parade of the Regiment’s Colours around half a mile down a road lined by soldiers yesterday morning.
The ceremony, at the Officer’s Mess at Lucknow Barracks and Tidworth Garrison Theatre was to commemorate the 1879 Battle of Rorke’s Drift.
Llywelyn takes over the role following the death of the 2nd Battalion’s Lance Corporal Gwillam ‘Taffy VI’ Jenkins in May last year.
Goat Major Fus Owen said: “It was an honour to be the last Goat Major to the last Taffy and now the new Goat Major to the new Llywelyn. It is an absolute privilege.”
Llewelyn was brought to Wiltshire after sailing through a tough selection process.
He was then put through his paces on a strict training programme, which included rations and ceremonial drills, to turn him into a well-disciplined animal.
His ancestors have a long standing connection with the regiment, and his cousins, uncles and grandfathers have all served.
Goats have headed up Royal Welsh parades since the 1700s, though it is not known exactly why the animal was picked.
The wild goat was once common in the mountains of Wales and was regarded as a familiar part of the Welsh landscape and a symbol of home.
The tradition of having a Royal goat began in 1844, when Queen Victoria presented the Royal Welch Fusiliers with its first official one.
Since then, the regular and reserve battalions have recruited a goat from the Royal herd at the Great Orme, Llandudno.