Wednesday, May 27, 2009

William Windsor - retires as Royal Welsh Regiment mascot

Billy the Goat - Lance Corporal William Windsor - retires as Royal Welsh Regiment mascot with full military honors

From his gleaming headplate to his immaculately groomed whiskers, Lance

Corporal William Windsor looked every inch the proud old soldier as he left camp for the last time yesterday. He has seen service overseas, met royalty and led every battalion parade, but after eight years on the job, it is time for William Windsor to retire. But unlike other old soldiers, this veteran will be spending his final days in a zoo - because he is the regimental goat, better known as Billy.

The regimental goat is considered a full member of the battalion. He marches in front of the Battalion on all ceremonial duties and is much loved by all ranks. He has a full time carer known as the Goat Major who ensures the welfare of the goat at all times. Billy’s replacement will be unveiled in June when a kid will be collected from a herd on the Great Orme, North Wales.

For the most part Billy has served as unbleatingly as a goat can - although he did once butt heads with top brass when he was temporarily demoted for not marching in time.

He spent two-and-a-half years overseas in Cyprus when the battalion was posted over there and has lived in Chester since their return. During his time in Cyprus, he was disciplined and temporarily demoted from his rank of Lance Corporal to Fusilier for not marching in time during a parade for the Queen's birthday.

Goat Major Lieutenant Corporal Ryan Arthur of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh restrains William Windsor, their Regimental Goat as he lurches towards a television report prior to his retirement parade at Dale Barracks in Chester, northern England May 20, 2009. William Windsor will live out the rest of his days at Whipsnade Zoo.

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