Friday 26 April 2019

Irish Guard (19) savaged by buffalo tells Duke of Cambridge of ordeal

Guardsman John Bogg was attacked by the animal during an early morning patrol in Kenya last October.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk to Guardsman Bogg (Gareth Fuller/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge talk to Guardsman Bogg (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Jemma Crew

A guardsman who was savaged by a buffalo in Kenya was singled out by the Duke of Cambridge to recount his ordeal.

Guardsman John Bogg was deployed with the Irish Guards for a training exercise in October when he was attacked by a buffalo on high ground during an early morning patrol.

William immediately asked to speak to the 19-year-old during a visit to 1st Battalion at their barracks in Hounslow, west London, after a Saint Patrick’s Day parade.

Describing the ordeal, he said: “I heard a grunting sound to my left and there was a figure built quite well, and I saw in the glint of the moonlight its horns, then it charged at us.

Guardsman John Bogg, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards who attended the St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow and spoke to the Duke of Cambridge about when he was savaged by a buffalo in Kenya. Photo:: Jemma Crew/PA Wire
Guardsman John Bogg, 1st Battalion, Irish Guards who attended the St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow and spoke to the Duke of Cambridge about when he was savaged by a buffalo in Kenya. Photo:: Jemma Crew/PA Wire

“Everyone ran to the left and I went to the right.

“It chased after me, flipped me with its horns, flew me about 10 metres further down, then it kept repeatedly butting me, about four or five times.

“My day sack saved me, otherwise I would have been impaled.

“Once it thought I was dead, finished, it gave me a final butt and ran off, trampled over me, so I was lucky to survive it. If it wasn’t for my day sack I wouldn’t be still here now.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge present shamrock to officers and guardsmen of 1st Battalion the Irish Guards as she attends the St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge present shamrock to officers and guardsmen of 1st Battalion the Irish Guards as she attends the St Patrick's Day parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow

“One of the maddest experiences of my life,” he added.

Guardsman Bogg has been part of the Irish Guards for 18 months, and was deployed to the Falklands before Kenya.

The duke, described by the soldier as “very hands on” in his role as Colonel of the Irish Guards, visited the operation in Kenya last year but was not there when the incident occurred.

He later heard the story after it was passed up the army’s chain of command, and loudly asked: “Where’s Guardsman Bogg?” when he entered the dining room, where hundreds of soldiers were waiting to toast him.

The teenager said his name being called out was “completely unexpected”.

Shaking Guardsman Bogg’s hand, the men chatted for a few moments before William gestured quizzically to the rest of his comrades and asked about the role they played after he was attacked.

“They all ran off sir,” the teenager replied, prompting raucous laughter.

Moments earlier, the guardsmen banged on tables and cheered as they waited for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to arrive.

The couple later sipped pints of Guinness as hundreds of soldiers stood to toast them.

Describing their meeting, Guardsman Bogg said: “He said it was unbelievable that I was still here and he’d heard about it, and asked me how the buffalo attacked me. And then Kate was just asking what had happened.

“The interaction in Kenya, coming out and seeing us – I don’t think every regimental colonel does that. I think you’ve got to be one in a million to do that to be honest with you.”

He added: “To think that he’s chosen me out is quite special to honest with you, especially for someone that high up to hear about such an incident, it’s brilliant.”

Press Association

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