No kidding: Saskatchewan goat remembered as First World War hero
The First World War was one of the darkest times in human history, but also saw plenty of war heroes shine as a light of hope. One unlikely hero: Sergeant Bill – a goat from Saskatchewan.
“He was wounded a couple of times by shrapnel, gassed once or twice,” said Ken Bell, who is the exhibit research and development coordinator at the Broadview Museum. “He save three people’s lives.”
For the past decade, Sergeant Bill has lived inside a display case at the museum – a piece of Canadian history too unique to be risked.
The goat is a Saskatchewan war hero – and even has the medals to prove it. Tales say a group of Canadian soldiers were riding the rails through Broadview in 1914. They took a liking to Bill and decided to bring him along to the war.
The goat spent the next several years in the trenches of northern France. He proved through the war to be a useful pet. Bill could hear incoming shells and warned his owners of approaching explosions. The museum says he also helped guard prisoners, as only a goat could.
“This enraged goat, they didn’t want to mess with him,” Bell said. “They sat there until the Canadians came along, and the rest is history.”
The deceased and stuffed Sergeant Bill is rarely removed from his display case. But on Friday, he took a rare excursion to be photographed in an upcoming documentary. The celebrity goat is no stranger to the limelight. He’s been the subject of one movie already and has his own Twitter account.
“He’s done pretty well, considering,” Bell said.
The randomness of a stuffed goat war hero likely plays a big part in people’s interest in Sergeant Bill. But, Bell says he thinks of the goat as proof of humanity in a dark time in history.
“No matter how bad things got, Bill was a rallying point for (the soldiers),” he said. “Morale and spirit, that’s what Bill really represents.”