Billy 'Botha'.

Billy Botha 2 RIR Royal Irish Rifles
Billy the Bull Terrier

During September 1900, when British troops were fighting the Boers, a troop of Mounted Infantry of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles attacked the farm of Commandant Philip Botha, the brother of the Boer leader. As the farm caught fire, Trooper Paddy Flynn noticing a dog inside the farmhouse, rescued it.

Some time later when Flynn was in hospital, his dog accompanied a patrol, which the Boers surrounded. During the action the Boers saw a dog limping towards them but because of the dog's apparent injuries did not fire at the animal. 'Billy' passed through the Boer lines, made his way back to base and his bedridden master. Flynn then saw a message attached to Billy's collar and alerted his unit, which promptly sent reinforcements thus saving the beleaguered patrol.

Billy became the Regimental Mascot until he died in 1915. He was wounded twice and earned two Boer War campaign medals with the Rifles, proudly wearing them whenever he paraded with the Regiment.

Now read about the Battle of Stormberg.