When the 88th Battalion left on May 23 1916, the No. 4 Company were forced to leave behind their beloved pet mascot “Tobe”, a bear cub.

Tobe the Mascot of the 88th

Tobe was a 2-month old bear cub that the was brought to them from Crofton; a little before the battalion received any marching orders.

Asides from the title of mascot of the No. 4 Company, the intention of Tobe was to represent the denizen of the wilds of British Columbia. The men wanted to take him to the Old Country but upon receiving their new marching orders, last minute orders were issued in prohibiting the taking of mascots, in the form of any transporting livestock of any kind on board the boat.

This was very disappointing to the men. For Tobe had become a beloved pet by the whole company. But now the immediate problem was what had to be done with him since the battalion had to leave very soon. After asking around, some staff members of The Daily Colonist news paper were consulted and they decided that Tobe would taken in and cared for, at least until a new home could be found for him.[1]

As of the May 23 1916 edition of The Daily Colonist, it was advertised that Tobe was being housed at the broad street offices of The Daily Colonist. The Daily Colonist also makes certain to mention that Tobe will be willingly turned over to any battalion should they want “an ideal pet”[2]. In return, the battalion would have to pay for any of the expenses that the Daily Colonist had incurred. The Daily Colonist added that the arrangement and conditions can also apply to anyone else who may want to undertake the care of Tobe.

Written by Geoffrey Hendrie and Nathan Waller


[1] Fusilier Mascot Waits New Owner, The Daily colonist, May 24, 1916, Page 5