Due to his dedication to the army, he became the official mascot of the 3rd Transvaal Regiment and was taken everywhere with the soldiers.
The Story Of Jackie The Baboon Who Fought In The Trenches Of World War I
You may be surprised to learn that Jack was not the only baboon employed by South Africa. You may have heard the tale of Jack, the baboon who served as a faultless railroad signal conductor there.
The baboon was Jackie, a Chacma baboon just like Jack who had fought in World War I with the 3rd South African Infantry Regiment.
Like Jack, Jackie the baboon was first kept as a pet by Albert Marr. Jackie was found wandering about Marr’s farm, so he decided to take him home and teach him to become a family member. like one would.
For several years, Jackie resided with Marr and picked up the skills necessary to be a decent young baboon. Marr later enlisted to fight in the war in 1915. He requested his superiors whether Jackie could enlist in the army as well because he couldn’t bear to leave Jackie behind.
They replied yes, much to everyone’s amazement.
He was treated the same as every other soldier after being enlisted. He received his own supply of rations, a uniform with buttons and a regimental badge, a cap, and a pay book.
Even his behavior matched that of the other soldiers. He would stand and give a proper salute to any senior officers he spotted as they passed. As a sentry, he would also light cigarettes for his other officers and perform it expertly thanks to his keen hearing and sense of smell.
Because of his commitment to the military, he was adopted as the 3rd Transvaal Regiment’s mascot and accompanied the soldiers everywhere. He spent time in the French lines and even sustained injuries from enemy fire.
Jackie was observed fortifying himself with a stone wall during a chaotic shootout in one of the tunnels. A piece of shrapnel fell over his wall and struck him while he was distracted.
Jackie was taken to the camp hospital by the regiment physicians, who unsuccessfully attempted to save his limb before having to amputate it. The physicians did not have much hope that he would recover because he had been put to sleep with chloroform, and they did not know what effects chloroform has on baboons. But in a few of days, Jackie had accomplished that.
Jackie received a valor medal for his gallantry and was elevated from the rank of private to corporal.
Jackie was eventually released in the Maitland Dispersal Camp in Cape Town, close to the conclusion of the war. He departed with his discharge papers, a military pension, and a form for troops seeking civil employment.
As a good buddy, Jackie went back to the farm owned by the Marr family, abandoning his life of duty in favor of one spent as a pet, where he lived until his death in 1921.
Jackie the baboon is still the only baboon to serve in World War I and to have attained the rank of Private in the South African Infantry.
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Jackie The Baboon Earned The Medal Of Valor For Fighting In The Trenches During WWI
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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