Regimental ferrets take up duties in Germany

IMPHAL and Quebec, pet ferrets of The 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, have travelled from North Yorkshire to join their unit in Germany.

The ferrets, named after two battle honours, have made themselves at home in Mnster in their kennel in front of the Guard Room in Oxford Barracks.

The light role infantry battalion – nicknamed The Yorkshire Warriors – has joined 20th Armoured Brigade in Germany, which it became part of in August last year.

The ferrets were a gift from the people of Yorkshire and have since been adopted. The tradition of keeping ferrets is thought to have begun in the First World War when the troops used them to hunt for rabbits.

Today the two male ferrets take part in parades and wear their own uniforms. They are looked after by the Provost Staff in the Battalion's guardroom.

Provo Corporal Norman Shay said: "They're doing fine – I don't think they've realised yet that they're in Germany. We had their kennel sent out prior to them leaving.

"They've got freedom of the parade ground and they will go in and out of the troops when they're all formed up. Most recently when we returned from Iraq we had the homecoming parade and the ferrets did the complete parade with us as well.

"They have a jacket in Brunswick Green with a cap badge on the side of it and they have little hats and the regimental leads which are exactly the same as our stable belts. They're the pride of the Battalion."

The First Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment was formed in 2006 from The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire. Having moved to Germany from Catterick, most of the Battalion will deploy to Iraq in November.

B Company is already in Kosovo as the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force.