Ship’s mascots have always been part of life in the Royal Navy. Used for security, pest control and companionship for crews, mascots have a rich history.  They include monkeys, parrots, cats and especially dogs. The photos taken aboard Scarab include Ordinary Sea Girl (Jenny (the monkey) and Able Sea Dog Rags - two of several mascots adopted by the crew of Scarab during WWII.




H.M.S Scarab crewmembers

Front row, Leading Seaman holding Jenny,

To the right of Rags is Blondie.

Second row on the left Buck Taylor.

 Lofty Evans and Goldie are behind crew member in white shirt

 (Rags was a fine dog and much more than a mascot)




Able Sea Dog Rags

Fantastic original photo of Rags

Courtesy of Scarab crew member Harold Bainbridge




Scarab crewmember Dalzel (The Painter),

Holding Jenny with Rags enjoying a pat and a scratch



Jenny scanning the sky for enemy aircraft




Left to right

Leading Seaman Issacs, Able Seaman Charlie Wells, Wearing the officers cap

 larking about with Jenny the monkey on his Shoulder.

 Stoker Clench can be seen at the rear, with leading Seaman Jake Westlake

and Rags the dog aboard Scarab

Courtesy of Derek and Kath Grainger

(Son of Albert Harold Grainger)





Jenny and Rags got on well together

(They were great mates)



Jenny having a feed of peanuts.



Jenny (left)

The interpreter from Cyprus (left)

with the Welshman holding Jenny



Kipper was another mascot.

The hammock was made to measure

(by the painter)




It remains a feature of human nature that people love and value their mascots and pets. Stories abound the world over about such relationships.

Below is yet another.





(Click to enlarge)



Other Royal Navy insect class Gun Boats had their equivalent “mascots” and in fact it appears to have been a “tradition”. Below is a photo of the resident mascot “Bob” from HMS Aphis when she was with the River Danube Flotilla in 1919-20.  (Note the Aphis cap tally.)




(Click to enlarge)




H.M.S. Gnat

Ship's Mascot

Yangtze Flotilla


c 1931

(Click to enlarge)




Royal Navy Mascots circa 1912

 (Original postcard)

(Click to enlarge)



This photo is a beauty of the ship’s mascot Jamie

Crew members of the battleship

H.M.S. Venerable can be seen with the

Union Jack flying in the background.

Dardanelles c1905

(from original photo)




Adorable puppy “Hatuey” Ships Mascot

U.S.S. Coral Sea CVB-43 – Age 7 weeks

(original photo)



Three little Chinese Mascots on the China station



Three little Chinese boys in ‘taylor’ made ‘Jack Tar’ uniforms.

Cap tallies read HMS Keppel, HMS Witch and HMS Bruce.

From original 1933 photograph. Shanghai.



Judy the Dog



Judy, far right, is pictured with fellow Dickin Medal recipients in 1946.

She survived being hunted by Japanese guards and being mauled by an alligator.



Author’s Note:


To single out any mascot above the other would be unjust as far as I am concerned.

They were all precious, had their own personalities.

They were all little heroes.


One unique mascot was a white pointer named Judy who served with the Royal Navy from 1937 to the end of hostilities (WW 2) and became the only canine member of the British Returned Prisoner of War Association. Her amazing story is as follows: Judy the Dog.






The National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy


Te Waka Huia O Te Taua Moana O Aotearoa


In 2013 we were approached by The National Museum as a source of photos and information for an exhibition.



Mates and Mascots












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