We joined with members of the Royal British Legion and the Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) Regiment to commemorate the extraordinary work of Jimmy the donkey.

Insp Justin Stubbs, Insp Kathy Hornig and Ray Preston, head of the Royal British Legion branchJimmy (nicknamed ‘The Sergeant’) was a courageous wartime mascot of the First Scottish Rifles Regiment during World War One. He was born in June 1916 after a shell injured his mother and sent her into labour at the Battle of the Somme. Jimmy was then found cowering beside his mother by advancing Scottish troops and was weaned by soldiers using condensed milk before entering into two years of service.

His efforts transporting injured soldiers boosted wartime morale and Jimmy was injured seven times during his service. Soldiers even taught him to raise his hoof in salute.

Remembering Jimmy’s courage

The ceremony to commemorate Jimmy took place on September 25 at Central Park in Peterborough, was also attended by a class of year four pupils from Southfield Primary school. The students are taught about Jimmy’s courageous story each year.

Prayers of remembrance were given as well as a two-minute silence and readings by the pupils. Wreaths were also laid in memory of animal sacrifices at war and a bugler played.

RSPCA Inspector Justin Stubbs, who attended the ceremony said:

“To be invited to attend this memorial and stand with veterans from across the services, to remember Jimmy and his regimental comrades was an honour and a privilege.”

A more peaceful life

After the war Jimmy entered into a more peaceful life having been bought by the secretary of the RSPCA in 1919 and adopted by the Peterborough Branch. He then attended events and helped to raise thousands of pounds in funds for us until his death in 1943 at age 26.

Jimmy was buried in Central Park, Peterborough and a memorial stone was laid on his grave.

Justin said:

“The fact that Jimmy was adopted by the RSPCA locally, and remains in the city honoured with this memorial is humbling to those of us working for the RSPCA today. To see our name on Jimmy’s memorial stone gives an enormous sense of pride, and gratitude towards Jimmy for what he did for the RSPCA”

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