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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Gruff justice as Billy is demoted
Lance Corporal Dai Davies with Billy (photo by Cpl Nik Howe, Media Ops, Cyprus)
Lance Corporal Dai Davies, Billy's handler, is known as the goat major
The regimental goat of the 1st Battalion Royal Welch has been demoted - after refusing to keep in step at a parade to mark the Queen's birthday.

Six-year-old William Windsor, otherwise known as Billy, got a dressing down because of his "lack of decorum" at the event at the Episkopi base in Cyprus.

Fusiliers will no longer have to stand to attention when Billy - demoted from Lance Corporal to Fusilier - passes by.

Monarchs since Queen Victoria have presented the regiment with a goat.

Billy, a Kashmir goat given to the 1st Battalion Royal Welch by the Queen in 2001, was on his first overseas posting.

Goat major

The parade on 16 June was held in the presence of a number of invited dignitaries including the ambassadors of Spain, Netherlands and Sweden and the Argentine commander of UN forces on Cyprus.

His handler Lance Corporal Dai Davies, 22, from Neath, South Wales, dubbed the goat major, found he was unable to keep him in line.

"Billy can be badly behaved at times but I didn't think there was anything wrong myself at the time," said the base's spokesman Captain Crispin Coates.

"However, after the parade he was reported through the chain of command and accused of disobeying a direct order."

But the loss of prestige could be temporary.

According to Captain Coates, Billy is "extremely well known" on Cyprus and highly liked.

"His situation is currently being reviewed and he could regain his rank," he said.

New regiment born on saint's day
01 Mar 06 |  North East Wales

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