There was an amusing incident near the Granville Cafe on Thursday, reported the Bedfordshire Times and Independent of Friday, 21 May 1915, when the goat of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers showed its soldierly temperament. The battalion was about to leave the town, and the goat-sergeant had gone ahead with his charge. At the bottom of the MR (Midland Railway) bridge Billy refused to go any further, and butted his superior officer into the wall. After a few minutes the battalion came along, and Billy taking his accustomed place at the head became as docile as a lamb.
In the column ‘Items and Episodes‘ included in the Bedfordshire Times and Independent of 30 July 1915, the columnist wrote, amongst other items, about:
- new Welsh arrivals in Bedford and their enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of Bedfordians, for bands;
- the various regimental mascots then in town, including a monkey which was ‘very fond of children’;
- the two variations in English to the words of the song “Men of Harlech” penned by a private in the Welsh Guards and a private in the 1/5th Welsh; and
- another large influx of Territorials expected that weekend which would mean that Bedford would then be entertaining more soldiers than it had ever done before.
The column was headed by a picture of the 2/7th Cheshires at physical drill in Russell Park.
The English words penned to “Men of Harlech” by a private in the 1/5th Welsh include the phrase “Stick it, Welsh”, said to be the dying words of Captain Mark Haggard, the nephew of the author, Rider Haggard. The circumstances in which they were spoken are described in the Chronicle.