Royal Marines Football Association

Tuefen-Hunden, Sergeant Major Jiggs & Private Pagett, USMC.


The following extracts are taken from an article by Brigadier General Dion Williams, USMC, entitled "PRIVATE PAGETT" - US Marine, which appeared in the Marine Corps gazette of September 1927

Soldiers & Sailors have from time immemorial been especially fond of pets & every barracks & ship has its mascot for whom the men often acquire a very sincere regard. Thus the Navy has its Goat & the Army has its Mule as every one who has attended one of the annual struggles on the football field between the teams representing the two great academies of the services at West Point & Annapolis must have observed. The Marine Corps is no exception to this custom & the older members of the service can remember many of the dogs that have been famous mascots of Marine Regiments & Detachments at home & abroad, afloat & ashore.

In May 1918, when the Allies were stubbornly holding the long line of the West Front & the forces of the United States were being assembled & trained in France to take their share of the work to bring the Central Powers to their knees, the Germans suddenly launched their third great offensive with such startling success as to bring great depression & despair, to the Allies. Rapidly the German forces crossed the Chemin des-Dames west of Rheims, captured Soissons after a stubborn defence by the Allies, and the last day of May 1918 found them marching in what appeared to be overwhelming force down the Valley of the Marne toward Paris. At this critical time when cause of the Allies appeared to be desperate, the Second Division of the A.E.F. which included the fourth Brigade of Marines, and certain elements of the Third & Twenty-Eighth Divisions were hurriedly thrown into the battle line & took position in the Chateau-Thierry Sector to aid the hard pressed French forces in their efforts to halt the German advance.

Tuefel-Hunden (Devil Dogs)

The Week's Defensive of the Marine Brigade in the vicinity of the Bois de Belleau Wood by the Marine Brigade so stubbornly contended that they styled the Marine "Tuefel-Hunden" This term was immediately taken up by the Marines and their friends at home and translated into the English equivalent of "Devil Dogs" and ever since the term has been often applied to the American Marines. For this reason the Dog appears to be particularly appropriate as the mascot for the Marines.

Sergeant Major Jiggs USMC (Formerly named King Bulwark)

In the early fall of 1922 when the Marine Corps Football Team was preparing for its fall campaign at the Marine Base at Quantico Virginia, Brigadier General Smedley D Butler, then Commanding General of the station determined that there should be a real mascot for the station and the team, and as a result an English Bulldog of fine pedigree named "King Bulwark" was purchased from a well known kennel & brought to Quantico. The registered name of this fine dog "King Bulwark" did not appeal to the fancy of the Marines & from his resemblance to the countenance of "Mr Jiggs" as portrayed in the popular "Maggie & Jiggs" cartoons his name was changed to "Jiggs" and under that name he was enlisted into the Marine Corps on 7th October 1922 and given a service record book as is custom with mascots in the Navy & Marine Corps. 

Carrying out the traditions of the Corps with their mascots "Jiggs" was promoted from Private to Corporal & then to Sergeant, & on July 16th 1924, upon the occasion of the first visit of the Hon. Curtis Wilbur, Secreatry of the Navy, to Quantico, he was by order of the Secretary promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major."Sergeant Major Jiggs" was born on May 22 1921, so that he reached his high rank at a comparativley early age, even for a dog. He was of a very amiable disposition & thoroughly enjoyed life with the Marines. In fact, his enjoyment of the rations provided probably hastened his end, for December 1926 he became afflicted with a serious gastritis & was transferred to the care of a veterinary in Washington. In spite of the best of care "Sergeant Major Jiggs" died on January 7th 1927. His body was taken from Washington to his home station at Quantico by Aeroplane & he was buried there with appropriate ceremonies.

During his five years of service with the Marines he travelled far & wide with the Marine Corps Football Team, and as he paraded up & down the side lines in his blanket of the Corps colours & a jaunty Marine cap or a small steel helmet on his fine head, he became a familiar figure to thousands who witnessed the Marines win at football on manay a gridded field. He was a good dog & a good friend & the Marines cared for him with the affection that all real men have for such faithful animals. He did his bi to help the Marine team win its games & added much to the picturesqueness of many gatherings where thousands cheered the Marine Football team on to victory. All over America the press chronicled the death of "Sergeant Major Jiggs" & many friends of the Corps voiced their regret when they heard of his untimely death. One of these friends Mr Allan Cedric Mowbray, an Englishman residng in Boston, Mass, was so impressed with the circumstances of the case that he addressed a letter to the General of the Royal Marines in England Lieut General L.S.T. Halliday V.C., C.B Adjutant General Royal Marines and it was from this letter that the idea to present the USMC with Private Pagett was born.

Private Pagett USMC

(Pictured aboard HMS Cairo in 1927 during the ships visit to Washington)

Upon hearing the news that "Sergeant Major Jiggs" had passed away Lieut General L.S.T. Halliday V.C., C.B., Adjutant General Royal Marines decided to give the USMC a British Bulldog by the name of Private Pagett.

From Commodore Hartley, Commander of America's greatest pashenger ship of its time, the Leviathan, it was learned that "Private Pagett" was escorted aboard the Leviathan by a detachment of Royal Marines from Eastney Barracks Portsmouth & turned over to the care of the Commodore with appropriate ceremonies. During the passage the distinguished passenger fared well & was the centre of interest for the host of passengers that filled the great ship to capacity. On June 27th 1927, the Leviathan arrived at Ney York where, "Private Pagett" was met by the representatives of the US Marine Corps, headed by Major J. C. Fegan, Athletic Officer of the Corps. These representatives consisted of officers of the regular service & the Reserves & a detachment of enlisted men from Brooklyn Barracks. Commodore Hartley turned "Pagett" over to Major Fegan with a few well chosen remarks & he soon boarded a train for the journey to Washington, where on the following day he reported at the Major General Commandant & paid a call upon the Secretary of the Navy. The representative of the press were present & the news of the noted dog's arrival was published throughout the country.

Several rolls of moving picture films were made depicting the arrival of "Private Pagett" at New York & Washington, and these together with a collection of clippings from the press recounting the incidents of his reception & induction into the US Marine Corps were forwarded to the Adjutant General of the Royal Marines Lieut General L.S.T. Halliday V.C., C.B. 

Private Pagett is undoubtedly one of the finest dogs of his class in the world & his fine points are admired by all the dog fanciers & dog lovers who have seen him. He stands nineteen inches high & at present weighs just an even sixty pounds without an ounce of superfluous flesh, in fine form & fettle he is ready for a fight or a frolic & has taken his station at Quantico where he will accompany the Marine Corps Football Team upon its Fall Tour of 1927 & help to cheer them on to victory. Private Pagett also accompanies the Marine Corps Baseball team. No other animal has the traditional courage, bravery, tenacity of purpose, combined with true loyalty, which form the characteristics of the British Bulldog, & this makes "Private Pagett" a fitting mascot for the United States Marines. The Corps esteems him highly for his fine lineage & sterling qualities, but more on account of the fact that he comes to them from another famous Corps of Marines, whose duties are similar, whose language is the same, & whose aspirations & espirit are marked by the same loyalty to flag & country & devotion to the service.The whole Marine Corps will soon become acquainted with "Private Pagett" & will find him a fitting successor to the late lamented "Sergeant Major Jiggs" who won so many friends in & out of service during his 5 years service with the Marines.

The Descendants of Private Pagett, who was Presented to the U.S. Marine Corps by the Royal Marines in 1927.

The Marine Corps mascots that took part in the celebration of Armistice Day: Bill, Sergeant Thunder & Jiggs the second watch the Football game at Franklin Field in Philadelphia between the Quantico Marines & the American Legion All Stars.