Ship’s dog ‘Peter’ (a.k.a. Pétain), mascot of Royal Navy submarine HMS Ursula

Peter, also known as ‘Pétain’ (one assumes after the French collaborator), was the mascot of HMS/M Ursula (N59), a U-class submarine commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1938. Peter was rescued from the German-crewed merchantman ‘Sainte Marguerite II’ which was torpedoed by Ursula on 2 December 1942. Described as “terrified” (and who wouldn’t be?) Peter was rescued from the water and adopted as the submarine’s mascot.

February 1943. Officers of HM SUBMARINE URSULA stand in front of the conning tower, which has been draped with the Jolly Roger. Left to right, they are: Sub-Lieutenant W Burley, RNVR; Lieutenant A R Profit, DSC, RN; and Lieutenant A R Marshal, RN. Lt Profit is holding their pet dog ‘Peter’.