History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

07 April, 2015

Wartime Kangaroos

A special edition of the wartime pets series! As we've seen in past posts, soldiers are very, very fond of keeping pets and mascots of all kinds, from the expected dogs and cats to pigs, goats, and foxes. Out of all the unusual pets, perhaps the most surprisingly popular was the kangaroo (or wallaby). Australian soldiers played with them at home, then took them along on journeys to far-off fronts. Foreign troops stationed in Australia were also keen to seize their chance of kangaroo adoption. I don't know if they do make good pets, but these fellows certainly seem thought so!

An Australian soldier with a pet kangaroo near the Pyramids, Egypt, about 1915. Source

Soldiers with a kangaroo in Malaysa, 1941. Source

A soldier with "Joey" the kangaroo in Malaya, 1941. According to the caption, he was smuggled in a box labelled "Medical Supplies." Source

Another kangaroo in Malaya, 1942. Source

Australian soldiers play with a kangaroo, 1943. Source

A soldier with a baby kangaroo or wallaby near an army truck, Australia, 1944. Source

RAF pilots with a baby wallaby, Australia, 1943. Source

A kangaroo on board a ship taking Australian soldiers to the Boer War, 1899-1902. Source

A sapper of the Royal Australian Engineers shows off the unit mascot "Joey," Australia, 1943. Source

An RAF man watches his pet wallaby eat, Australia, 1943. Source

A young RAAF squadron leader with a joey and puppy, Australia, 1943. Source

Another kangaroo at the pyramids, Egypt, 1914. Source

An Australian soldier cuddles a tree kangaroo, WW2. Source


Mal said...

Very enjoyable site. Thank you for your very interesting posts.

Lauriana said...

These pictures are so cool! I hope the kangaroos kind of liked being pets though...

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