The Kennel Club is delighted to have pledged its support to a national memorial to celebrate dogs of war. This will be the first ever memorial honouring the courage of all the military working dogs that have served with the Armed Forces in many conflicts and saved many lives.
The launch for the new memorial took place in Parliament earlier this year with the aim to gain support and pledges to raise the £150,000 needed to construct the memorial which will enjoy a peaceful setting in Brynford, Flintshire. The proposed design for the animal cenotaph features bronzes of four heroic war dogs positioned as guardians of a central monument dedicated to the service dogs of the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force.
The four dogs are Judy, a Pointer who was a Second World War Naval mascot and who spent three years in a Japanese labour camp in Sumatra – the only dog to be officially registered as a Prisoner of War; RAF terrorist tracker dog, Lucky who served during the Malayan Emergency from 1949 to 1952 – the German Shepherd Dog was the only survivor of a four dog team who successfully tracked down insurgents and in doing so saved many lives; Theo, a Royal Army Veterinary Corps Arms and Explosives Search Dog who was serving in Afghanistan in 2011 when his handler Lance Corporal Liam Tasker came under fatal enemy fire – Theo died of a seizure just hours after L/Cpl Tasker lost his life in the line of duty; and Air Dog, Buster who served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan as an Arms and Explosives Search Dog, saving thousands of lives.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “The contribution of the military working dog should never be underestimated in peace time, as well as in conflict. They have served, and continue to serve, alongside their handlers with unstinting courage. This memorial charity, and the ethos behind its formation confirms that our military working dogs have earned eternal remembrance. This memorial will honour them now and always and the Kennel Club is proud to be able to pledge its support for this.”
Emma Ward, Trustee of the National Military Working Dogs Memorial Charity said: “We are very grateful for this outstanding donation by the Kennel Club of £15,000 which has helped enormously going forward towards our target. We are so grateful to all those that have pledged so far. There is such a passion for making the plans become a reality and it has been truly inspiring having so much support from not only the Kennel Club but also members of Parliament and branches of the armed forces and the families of military dog handlers past and present.”
For further information on the National Military Working Dogs Memorial charity, please see www.nmwdm.org.uk.