‘Paddy’ was the Irish terrier mascot of the Wellington Battalion during World War One, serving in both Gallipoli and the Western Front.
He was often in the thick of the action at Gallipoli, barking and scurrying around as bullets whistled over his head. Once on the Western Front, he was mainly kept away from the frontline and earned several promotions to Scout Sergeant-Major.
It is not clear whether Paddy came back to New Zealand but there is paperwork, dated February 1919 whereby he was in quarantine, waiting to return home, so it would appear the tough little terrier would have made it.
Paddy was owned by 10/1118 Sergeant-Major Beaumont Woodhead, the acting Regimental Sergeant Major of the 7th Wellington West Coast Regiment. With the formation of the Wellington Battalion NZEF at Awapuni, Woodhead was appointed the Company Sergeant Major of ‘A’ Company which was raised from the 7th Regiment.
Although there was an order prohibiting pets on ships, it was argued that Paddy was a pre-war official mascot and therefore should be allowed to travel with the regiment. Permission was granted and Paddy began his journey. He travelled to Egypt, Gallipoli, France, Belgium and Germany (as part of the occupation force).
The name plate from the collar of ‘Paddy’, the Irish terrier mascot of the Wellington Battalion is currently on display in the latest exhibition, “A is for ANZAC: two armies, a shared history” in the Hassett Gallery. The plate is engraved ‘PADDY, 7th Regiment Wanganui’, and is the plate from his pre-war collar which was replaced in Colombo on the passage to Egypt.