Posts Tagged ‘Ray Perry’

Ray Perry: Sgt. Mike

Mike, Camp BordenMr. Ray Perry of St. Catherines, Ontario, a veteran member of the Algonquin Regiment of Canada, (motto: we lead, others follow) wrote to me about Mike, their regimental mascot.

“During WW11, the Algonquin Regiment was used mainly as shock troops to lead the advance in breaking the force of enemy resistance. Whle the Regiment was training for its overseas mission at Camp Border, Port Aurther, Shilo, and in Newfoundland, the soldiers were accompagnied by their mascot, Mike.

Mike was an enormous St. Bernard. Originally purchased by the men of ‘A’ Company in Huntsville, Ontario, as their mascot, Mike quickly graduated to a senior role and became Sargeant Michael Cassidy. He became a mainstay in the regiment’s parades in Canada.

The Algonquin Regiment, with Sgt. Mike and a complement of 4,500 troops, left Halifax Harbour on the Empress of Scotland in June, 1943. On arriving in Liverpool, the regiment proceeded to Heathfield and was made part of the 10th Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division. Mike was so completely identified with the unity that his loss was felt very keenly when he died suddenly after only two weeks out of the British quarantine kennels in January 1944. The cause of death was diagnosed as pneumonia, likely complicated by the rather damp surroundings.”

The Algonquin Regiment went on to take part in the fighting throughout Belgium, Holland, and Germany and fought bravely in the Normandy Invasion in France in July 1944.