Bobbie was the name of a British regimental mascot dog, a mongrel from
Reading, belonging to Lance-Sergeant Peter Kelly of the 66th Regiment of Foot(the Berkshire Regiment). He was initially stationed at Brock Barracks, and went overseas with the regiment in the late 1870s. [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/10460_memorial_for_dog_hero_of_maiwand Reading Evening Post: Memorial for dog hero of Maiwand] ]
In 1880 the regiment was stationed at the fort in
Kandahar, Afghanistan, which had been occupied by the British since January 1879, just after the start of the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
On 3rd July 1880 a column of some 2,700 troops under Brigadier George Burrows set out from Kandahar to assist friendly tribesmen in putting down a rebellion by
Ayub Khan. Bobbie accompanied the troops. [cite book | title = Animals in war | id = ISBN 0552990914 | last = Cooper | first = Jilly | date=2000 | publisher = Corgi] . For ten days Burrows searched for the rebel force. Meanwhile, the friendly tribesmen turned out not to be so friendly, leaving Burrows' force to face an ever-increasing rebel army in countryside where every man's hand was ready to turn against them. [cite book | title = The North-West Frontier | id = ISBN 0713711337 | page = p. 86| last = Barthorp | first = Michael | date=1982 | publisher = Blandford Press]
Eventually the British force was surrounded and attacked by the much larger Afghan force. Along with a line of Indian regiments and cavalry, the 66th Foot made a determined stand while the guns were evacuated, Bobbie barking furiously at the attackers. The British were over-run, most of the 66th regiment being wiped out, while the survivors had no option but to get back as best they could to Kandahar. In the confusion Bobbie got lost, but the following day, survivors making their way back to the fort spotted him trying to catch up, though he was wounded. He was re-united with his owner, who was also on the wounded list. [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/10460_memorial_for_dog_hero_of_maiwand Reading Evening Post: Memorial for dog hero of Maiwand] ]
Upon arrival back in England Bobbie was presented to
Queen Victoriaalong with several soldiers of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment who received their Distinguished Conduct Orders.
Unfortunately a year later Bobbie was accidentally run over and killed by a
hansom cabin Gosport. He was stuffed and can be seen today at the regimental museum in Salisbury, decorated with an unknown soldier's Afghan War medal. [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/10460_memorial_for_dog_hero_of_maiwand Reading Evening Post: Memorial for dog hero of Maiwand] ]
* [http://www.angloafghanwar.info/articles/dogs.php Dogs in the Second Anglo-Afghan War]
* [http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/10460_memorial_for_dog_hero_of_maiwand] Picture of Bobbie
* [http://www.britishbattles.com/most-massacred.htm] Two paintings of Bobbie in the thick of the fight
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.