Boss Goat


Book Reviewer
...always nice to see the kids doing well :lol:

Ben with his unofficial military ID card [Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Griffiths]

No kidding around – Ben the Goat is in charge in Al Amarah

Acquired to keep the grass down in a British base in southern Iraq, Ben the Goat is now fully established as the boss in Camp Abu Naji, Al Amarah.

During early 2005, an environmental health team visited camp Abu Naji, a key British base near Al Amarah in southern Iraq, and advised the battlegroup located there at the time that the grass outside the HQ was too long and was harbouring poisonous snakes.
Having cultivated the garden during their tour in Iraq, the 1st Battalion, the Welsh Guards were loath to get rid of the grass completely, so they turned to more traditional methods of grass management and acquired two goats.

Having originally come to live at Camp Abu Naji as a kid with his brother Henry, Ben has grown up around British soldiers and the noisy and busy environment they inhabit.

He chooses to spend most of his time around the battlegroup HQ where the current regiment, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, dote on him and even chose to name him after their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Affleck.

Although a constant source of frustration for the regimental sergeant major, Warrant Officer (1st Class) White, due to the inevitable inappropriate nibbling and indiscriminate droppings, most of the soldiers know that he has a soft spot for Ben.

Ben has had a wide and varied social life, having met all distinguished visitors to the base, including Ibrahim Al Jaafari, the Iraqi Prime Minister and HRH The Duke of Kent.

On these occasions, his manners were impeccable, but once the visitors have left, he reverts to his more normal boisterous behaviour, playfully butting his head against soldiers' legs in order to ensure that they stroke his head as they walk past him.
Ben's brother Henry has now returned to the town of Al Amarah, only to be replaced by Henrietta, a female goat. She is still settling in and although quite shy, hopes are high for a spring 'marriage' and a summer birth!

The Scots Dragoon Guards have gone to extreme lengths to encourage the union. Having organised the building of a pen for Ben and Henrietta, the regimental adjutant, Captain William Brassica, said:

"I thought that if they were starting a family, they would need some privacy! Also, when it rains, the shelter provides them warmth and comfort."

Ben and Henrietta are looked after by a team of dedicated volunteers from the battlegroup HQ. Corporal Natalie Morse, aged 21, from North Devon, said:

"The goats are a great reminder of home and are amazing pets. They act almost like dogs, chasing and playing with the soldiers when they walk past. Every day they come up to me and the others to say 'Hello', no matter what the weather. I wouldn't be without them!
....non-goat names changed to protect the innocent...1,2,3 a-a-a-a-a-a-a-h!

Le Chevre

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