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Heroic dogs of war to honoured by monument in North Wales The
pet cemetery in Brynford will home the National Military Working Dog
memorial, honouring dogs such as springer Buster who saved 1000 lives.
memorial to honour military dogs that were bombed, shot at and attacked
by pirates as they saved lives has been set up in Flintshire.
National Military Working Dog Memorial will be based at the Pet
Cemetery in Brynford near Holywell and is the brainchild of Emma Ward
and her father John.
After being granted charity status they
plan to build a permanent monument to mark the heroic deeds of the dogs
who safeguarded their masters and civilians during armed conflict.
pair, directors of Pet Funeral Services Ltd, wanted to honour the
canine Bravehearts after public calls to remember their contribution to
UK military history.
One trustee is former RAF Police Flt Sgt
Will Barrow whose book about the life of 'Buster - The Dog Who Saved A
Thousand Lives', was a best seller.
spaniel Buster died in 2015 aged 13 and the book chronicles how he
served in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq - sniffing out bombs and booby
traps before they could kill British service personnel.
retirement Buster became the mascot of the RAF Police.Springer spaniel
Buster died in 2015 aged 13 and the book chronicles how he served in
Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq - sniffing out bombs and booby traps
before they could kill British service personnel.
On retirement Buster became the mascot of the RAF Police.
He will be represented as one of four Bronze statues who will guard the impressive mausoleum, costing around £150,000 to build.
read about Buster and when he passed away I said it would be lovely to
do a memorial for him,” said Emma Ward. “We have been working on this
for about three years and we are really excited now things are starting
One of her friends from the dog show circuit, Rita
Morgan from Higher Kinnerton, pushed her to start the charity and so
Emma started reading up on other stories of canine heroism.
husband George, who was a real raconteur and had an unbelievable
personal history in the military, passed away this year and he asked
that donations be made to the charity at his funeral,” she continued.
“He was really supportive of the idea and Rita has carried on his enthusiasm.
we have got on with it and the interest has been incredible. We have a
celebrity patron lined up and the military are also on board with it.”
of the dogs being immortalised within the mausoleum is Theo, who
literally died of a broken heart after his owner Lce Cpl Liam Tasker
was shot dead in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2011.
spaniel Theo, who was only 22 months old, suffered a fatal seizure just
hours after his master’s death and was posthumously awarded the PDSA
Dickin Medal for bravery - the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
of Sussex, who served on Yangtze River in World War Two and even
survived a pirate attack before becoming a Japanese POW, will take
another plinth on the memorial.
The final space will go to Air Dog Lucky, who tracked insurgents through the jungles of Malaya during World War Two.
The other three dogs on his detail died but Lucky, like Judy, was awarded the PDSA Dicken Medal for bravery.
£150,000 fund-raising drive is now on to build the memorial and they
plan to install plaques to honour all dogs who served with distinction
for the armed forces.
To donate to the charity, you can send a cheque payable to the NMWDM, to Pet Funeral Services, Brynford, Holywell, CH8 8AD.
Alternatively for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Drugs have been removed from the streets of Skegness in a special police operation to make the town safe for visitors.
night officers from Skegness were accompanied by Cpl Hallworth and RAF
Police Dog Sonic as they visited clubs and pubs around the town.
in the day, visitors would have noticed a larger that usual police
presence in the town - all part of a special Easter operation focusing
on priority issues identified by the resident community.
California was a joint operation involving East Lindsey District
Council, Lincolnshire Special Police, Lincolnshire Police volunteers
and Skegness Police. Insp Colin Haigh, of the Coast Neighbourhood
Policing Team, tweeted at 10pm: “Drug operation in Skegness tonight.
Extra resources supporting @SkegnessPolice to ensure we keep you safe
there was an invitation by East Lindsey’s Chief Inspector Dan Whyment:
“Excellent work keeping people safe in Skeg. Please enjoy a night with
us on the coast - no drugs though!! #opcalifornia.”
Haigh said this morning: “The latest Operation California drug
operation was a huge success with the police and East Lindsey District
Council colleagues sending a clear message that Skegness and
Ingoldmells are family resorts and drugs are not welcome. “We
searched numerous people during the operation under the Misuse of Drugs
Act and a male was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon after
trying to run away from officers.
More operations will be carried out during the summer to ensure we keep the coast area drug free and bring offenders to justice. “We
continue to enjoy the support of all licensees and Skegness Pubwatch in
conducting these operations and we receive positive comments from the
public who appreciate the difficult job that officers do.”
Visitors will continue to see an increased police presence in Skegness over the Bank Holiday.
Haigh said: “We have co-ordinated our resources in order to be as
visible as possible when our calls for service are at their peak. “We are expecting a large influx of holiday makers and day trippers and I want them to feel safe whilst they are in the town. “In
addition to tackling ASB and shop thefts, we will be focusing on our
local priorities, which include street drinking and cycling on
The mobile police station will be parked in the
Lumley Road and Grand Parade areas and the Skegness policing team will
be available to offer crime prevention advice on scams, fraud
prevention and caravan safety. The team are keen to encourage people to visit them at the mobile police station or to stop them for a chat whilst on patrol.
War hero gets a new four-legged friend after his bomb-sniffing military dog dies of cancer
dog handler Mick McConnell served with life-saving spaniel Memphis in
Afghanistan and was devastated by his death but new pup Sasha has given
him a new lease of life.
RAF veteran Mick McConnell loves getting out and about with new dog Sasha(Photo: Daily Record)
A war hero who lost his life-saving military dog to cancer has adopted a new four-legged pal.
McConnell was seriously injured while serving in Afghanistan with his
spaniel Memphis – who prevented countless deaths and won a medal for
sniffing out Taliban bombs.
But the brave pooch died last month after a battle with cancer.
Nowformer RAF police dog handler Mick – who lost his leg in a booby trap bomb blast – has taken on a new pup called Sasha.
Mick McConnell with his new sprocker pup Sasha(Photo: Daily Record)
42, from Elgin, said: “Sasha is doing brilliantly. When I lost Memphis,
I started going downhill a bit. I was sleeping during the day and not
being as proactive.
Sasha has given me a great boost. She isn’t being trained as a working
dog – just as a companion for me. She has given me a new lease of life.”
said his new sprocker pup – a cross between a cocker spaniel and a
springer spaniel – will never be a replacement for his combat buddy
Sprocker pup Sasha will not be trained as a working dog(Photo: Daily Record)
Memphis was walking ahead of Mick on patrol in 2011 when the squaddie stepped on the device.
Mick eventually lost his foot in 2013.
The loyal dog went to his injured handler’s side and stayed until help arrived.
24/2/17 From Dave Acott
Demo Team - Edinburgh
Royal Tournament at Earls Court 1980. I am in the front row 4th in from the right. 2/2/17
We are very sad to hear of the passing of Memphis, the Arms Explosive Search
dog who belonged to former RAF police dog handler, Mick McConnell. In 2011 Mick
wasinjured in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED and
after two years of rehabilitation, he took the difficult decision to have his
foot amputated. He said Memphis had been instrumental in helping him cope with
his life-changing injuries. In 2015 Memphis received the Canine Award at the
Soldiering On Awards for his dedication.
I have had a plaque made commemorating
all RAAF Police Dogs that served in Butterworth and Tengah, this will be
unveiled by my current OC in Feb 2017 close to the section that has sine
been torn down, after 1996 RAAF Police Dogs no longer deployed. Tengah is a
stumbling point at the moment. my first posting to Butterworth was from 1980
FLTLT Bill Perrett -- Bill was considered the father of the
Dog mustering here in Australia, ex Brit was commissioned in Australia, passed
away about 10 years ago. Wondering why the significance of Bill having a photo
outside the section, was it a Handover??? I don't know.
RAF Auxiliary Police Dogs -- going through our records I see a
number of Malaysians were supplied dogs from Australia, some Brit's as well.
were they trained at out Police Dog School here in Australia or were dogs simply
sent to Butterworth and trained in Malaysia??? I don't know.
RAF AUX Dogs patrolled the Base until RAAF dogs arrived in
September 1971, this I think is on the mark, I have spoken to a guy that
escorted the dogs from Australian to Butterworth. Old RAAF Historical records
are a little inaccurate talking about RAAF Police Dogs patrolling areas when
indeed it was the RAF Auxiliary dogs. I have names of the Malaysian and Brits
who these dogs were teamed with.
Any information pertaining to Butterworth or photos would be
greatly appreciated. I know the small set of kennels that I was told were RAF
kennels north of the cricket oval are no longer, that was a small kennel bank. I
was last in Butterworth last Jun 2012 looking at siting a new kennel bank on
base near the flight line.
I am keen on holding an event for past and present dogs
handlers at a location called the "Boatie" a few hundred meters from the old
section to commemorate our dogs, looking at the later half of 2017. I know CO 19
SQN (RAAF Butterworth) is favourable. I want a clear accurate record left for
those coming after us.
Thank you again for your help, any help would be greatly
appreciated as I am concentrating on Butterworth and will try and ascertain more
information on Tengah (Singapore) as well.
Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial
A Wimblington couple’s ‘Rusty Rooster’ memorial art has been installed in the war memorial gardens of Newark Air Museum.
Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial
Steven and Sara Raven have been designing and creating rusty metal garden art since May 16.
husband and wife team were approached by Nigel Bean, a former RAF
police dog handler - who served for 23 years and trained 17 dogs - who
spotted the pair at a county show.
Sara & Steve Raven with their memorial art piece.
The memorial they then created for the Newark Air Museum is a tribute to all RAF police dogs who had served from 1942 to 2014.
and friends all loved it and wanted pieces for themselves. So this
hobby business began and ‘Rusty Rooster’ was born,” said Sara.
Nigel Bean, former RAF laying a wreath
has always loved working with metal. Growing up on a farm there was
always something requiring his attention; needing to be welded,
grinded, cut from metal.
“Then one day he finally treated himself to a new plasma cutter and cut something for the garden.”
Sara & Steve Raven installing the Rusty Rooster memorial
Steven added: “Initially it was an idea that we simply stumbled upon by chance.
“It has quickly proven a hit at the local events we have attended.”
The tribute, named ‘Rusty’, was installed in the memorial gardens in September.
For more information on Rusty Rooster Garden Art visit www.facebook.com/rustyroostergardenart
11/11/16 Newark Air Museum
8/11/16 C shift dog handlers RAF Tengah 1965. Thanks to Dave Jenkin's son who took the photographs.
L to R in the group standing. Ian Myles. Bob McGhee. Les Coomber. Bob Laird. Dave Jenkins. Brian Dixon.
Corporal Kieran Jones and Borik an RAF Police attack and explosivesfirearms search
Kieran Jones and Borik, an RAF Police attack and explosives/firearms
search dog, are taking part in an eight-nation Deployed Operating Base
exercise in Germany this week.
morning was time to dedicate a tree and plaque in memory of a friend
Clive Gilmore, over 46 years service to the RAF Police Dog School.
Air Dog Baco who won the Dog Trials this year
Newark Air Museum This morning Jude and I placed our memorial to
all RAF Police and working dogs around the world, Tuesday the 16th
August is International Working Dog Memorial Day and we hope that our
commissioned piece of work Air Dog Rusty will be a fitting memorial to
those dogs that have served their countries in times of peace and
conflicts. We will remember them. Nigel Bean
RAF Police "Air Dog Baco" getting a jump on things...
Memorial to AES A/D Buster unveiled at RAF Waddington
Last surviving 9/11 rescue dog put down - with a hero's send-off
the last surviving search and rescue dog from 9/11 is walked by her
handler Denise Corliss past a flank of members of the Cy-Fair Volunteer
Fire Department as she was brought into the Fairfield Animal Hospital
to be euthanized. CREDIT: KAREN WARREN/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA AP
The last surviving rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terrorist attacks died on Monday.
a 16-year-old golden retriever, was put down at Fairfield Animal
Hospital in Cypress, Texas, with her handler Denise Corliss by her side.
Bretagne entered the hospital she was saluted by representatives of
agencies including the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and Texas Task
Force 1, who came to pay their respects.
An American flag was draped over her body after she was euthanised, and officers saluted once again as she was taken away.
told TODAY that Bretagne’s kidneys had started to fail in recent days,
and that she realised the time had come to say goodbye when the
food-loving retriever refused her meals for three consecutive days.
was really anxious last night and she just wanted to be with me,"
Corliss said on Monday. "So I laid down with her, right next to her.
When she could feel me, she could settle down and go to sleep. I slept
with her like that all night."
Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department
Captain David Padovan told TODAY that his team’s attendance was “a very
small way for us to pay tribute to a dog who truly has been a hero …
Just because she's a K9 doesn't make her any less part of our
department than any other member."
Corliss, an electrical
engineer, first became interested in the work of disaster search dogs
in the late 90s. She took ownership of Bretagne, then an 8-week-old
puppy, in 1999, and began training as a volunteer dog/handler team to
help support federal emergency response efforts at disaster sites.
Bretagne this week CREDIT: KAREN WARREN/HOUSTON CHRONICLE VIA AP “I
was so excited about doing this, but I didn’t have the appreciation of
how life-changing it would be,” she recalled last month. “It took 20 to
30 hours a week easily to stay on top of training. This is what I did
when I wasn’t at work.”
The two of them qualified as members of
Texas Task Force 1 in 2000 – and their first deployment was at the
World Trade Center site in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Together they
spent two weeks working 12-hour shifts at Ground Zero.
following years they were deployed to disaster sites including
Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ivan, before Bretagne’s
retirement from search work at age 9. Bretagne continued to work in her
retirement, frequently visiting a local school to help first-graders
and children with special needs.
Bretagne was last survivor of
around 300 dogs who worked at Ground Zero. Dr. Cindy Otto, a vet who
worked with 9/11 search dogs, said: “You’d see firefighters sitting
there, unanimated, stone-faced, no emotion, and then they’d see a dog
and break out into a smile.
“Those dogs brought the power of
hope. They removed the gloom for just an instant — and that was huge
because it was a pretty dismal place to be.”
RAF Police Military Working Dogs Join Their USAF Counterparts
Police Military Working Dogs and their handlers have had their skills
tested in a friendly competition against their United States Air Force
(USAF) counterparts at RAF Lakenheath.
is the first time RAF Police have been invited to compete against their
USAF colleagues at RAF Lakenheath since 2001 and before the contest
commenced, both teams performed a capability demonstration, with the
RAF team focusing on attack work and the basics of tracking.
the week, RAF Lakenheath has seen a series of events organised by the
USAF Security Forces Squadron to mark National Police Week which
commemorates and pays homage to those who have paid the ultimate
sacrifice in the line of duty.
of the organisers, Master Sergeant Jason Hallmon was instrumental in
securing the attendance of the RAF team and said: “I’ve had links into
the RAF with our exchange officer for a while now. This is a great way
to bring the two communities together, build relationships and look to
the future as we hope to do more together.”
RAF team consisted of four handlers drawn from various units and the
USAF team included personnel from both RAF Lakenheath and RAF
Mildenhall. This interaction is seen as an important step towards
strengthening relationships with the USAF Security Forces ahead of the
arrival of the F35 into the UK. The aircraft is scheduled to be based
at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Marham so both teams will be tasked to
Officer Lee Close, Training and Operations Manager, Military Working
Dogs said: “Today has been a lot of fun and we’ve enjoyed the level of
hospitality extended to us. For me, it’s not just about the contest or
the demonstrations though - it’s a way for us to start furthering our
professional relationships with the USAF ahead of the F35’s arrival.
vision is for our two organisations to share policing and security
intelligence plus operating procedures to ensure the aircraft remains
fully protected on station. This has been a great first step in that
differences in the way that the two nation’s dogs work, judging duties
were carried out by experts from both the RAF and USAF to choose a
winner for each team, with an independent judge, without military
working dog expertise, choosing an overall ‘Top Dog’ for the day.
Corporal Marc Lawson from RAF Marham and Staff Sergeant Kelly Webster
from RAF Mildenhall won the individual titles, whilst ‘Top Dog’ for the
day went to Corporal Shaun Perkes from RAF Brize Norton.
Photographs:TSgt Matthew Plew
Cpl Ali Shannon and Tommy.
SrA Bryce Bates and Gina.
Cpl Peter Ratcliffe and Kwinto ‘attack’ Sgt Andy Ackers.
Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station
dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. SAC Rose Buchanan
RAF Marham has hosted its first dog trials for eight years, an unusually long time for these annual events to have been missed.
was due to operational commitments and shows just how busy the
personnel at Marham have been all over the world over much of the past
Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station
dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. The handlers
along with their canine companions take part in several different
events that test their handling skills. This event is an annual
tradition for dog sections across the Royal Air Force.
station trials at a dog section would be an annual occurrence, where
dog handlers would compete against one another in the disciplines that
would be expected of a protection dog team while they are on patrol.
This year, however, Sgt Furniss was able to host RAF Marham’s Station Dog Trials 2016.
entered five teams into trials: These were, Cpl Roberts and MWD
(Military Working Dog) Monica; Cpl Lydon and MWD JoJo; Cpl Matthews and
MWD Fedor; Cpl Pitman and MWD; and Cpl Fields and MWD Diva.
disciplines that were to be tested were ‘Manwork’, where the dog team
would apprehend a criminal through a bite, ‘Windscent’, where the dog
team would use the scent of an individual on the wind to locate them on
the airfield, ‘Nightwork’, where the dog team would have to protect a
given area that contains assets where a ‘criminal’ is trying to get on
their area and lastly the ‘Arena’, where the Dog Team would be marked
on obedience and agility.
Marham Police Flight dog handlers compete in the annually held station
dog trials held between the 13th and 14th April 2016. Photo: SAC ROSE
the end of an exhausting and nerve-racking two days, Cpl Roberts was
awarded first place in the Criminal Workout, Windscent and Nightwork,
whilst Cpl Matthews was awarded first place for Best Turned Out and
first place for a near perfect Arena.
Cpl Matthews and MWD Fedor were the only team to successfully complete a 20m send away
recognition went to Cpl Pitman’s Dog, MWD Dara, who hit the ‘criminal’
so hard that she was able to completely take him of his feet before he
face planted into the grass.
RAF Police at RAF Marham, Flying Officer Hitchen said, “I am immensely
proud of the hard work that all of the dog section members have put
into support these trials but in particular the pride, confidence and
professionalism shown by the competitors.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity for the handlers to showcase themselves and encourages them to strive for perfection.”
only thing that was left was for the Stn Cdr, Gp Capt Davies, to award
was 3rd, 2nd, and 1st places; 3rd place was awarded to Cpl Matthews and
MWD Fedor, 2nd place was awarded to Cpl Pitman and MWD Dara, with 1st
place going to Cpl Roberts and MWD Monica.
Roberts said, “I am over the moon with the result. Monica is a
fantastic dog but she can be stubborn so I have had to work really hard
over the last year with training. The competition was tough so I
take my hat off to the other competitors.”
year the RAF Marham Military Working Dog Trials was sponsored by the
London Road Veterinary Centre and head vet and practice owner Alex
Dallas attended the trials.
He said: “It is an honour to work with the RAF Police Dog Section and I have always admired the work they do.
“To see them in action has been eye-opening and I have renewed respect for both the handlers and dogs!”
London Road Veterinary Centre in Lynn has been working with the RAF Marham Police Dog Section for the last 40 years.
This year the winner of the trials will receive the London Road Championship Cup.
Dallas added, “Over many years of working with the Police Dog Section
we have got to know both the dogs and handlers well, so congratulations
to the champions!”
Hero Hounds: The Training Behind Military Working Dogs
Now that British combat operations in Afghanistan have come to a close, the role of the military working dog (MWD) is changing.
In this special report, Forces TV takes a look at the dogs helping to keep our British soldiers safe.
RAF Police Dog Handler has been recognised at an awards ceremony hosted
by the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals (WCoSP).
Claire Bullen is a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer who has been in
charge of a RAF Police Working Dog Section for three years. The section
provides the vital arms and explosives search capabilities to UK Police
forces and other Government organisations.
for maintaining and deploying her team, plus ensuring the health,
welfare and operational capabilities of a fleet of dogs, it has been
Sergeant Bullen’s efforts in the current challenging environment that
led to this formal recognition from the WCoSP.
awards ceremony, held at Sadler’s Hall in London, is now in its fifth
year - with the RAF Police winning the military category on three
occasions. It was attended by a range of military, police and security
professionals who had gathered to honour the winners from a range of
the award was Master of the WCoSP - Stuart Seymour, who said: “There is
no doubt about the number of lives saved by military search dogs and
this award to Sergeant Claire Bullen recognises the vital role in their
welfare and deployment fulfilled by the leaders on the front line.
Company is delighted to honour Claire and all the handlers, kennel
staff, vets and dogs that keep the RAF Police's Military Working Dogs
in the forefront of the fight against terrorists and criminals.”
Bullen’s section has been instrumental in the discovery of improvised
explosive devices, homemade explosives and numerous amounts of
ammunition. These successes were in no small part to enhanced search
techniques that were devised and implemented by Sgt Bullen.
receiving her award at the prestigious ceremony in front of colleagues
and family members, Sgt Bullen said: “I feel very honoured to receive
this award, but I couldn’t do this job without the support of a team of
dedicated and professional people who work extremely hard day-in and
day-out. This award is really recognition for the efforts of the whole
In May 1941, during the dark days of theSecond World War, a few small adverts started appearing in the columns of various press publications up and down the country.
British Dog Owners,” the bulletins proclaimed. “Your country needs dogs
for defence. Alsations, Collies and other large breeds. Here is your
great opportunity to actively help to win the war – will you loan one?”
adverts were primarily designed by the War Office to test public
opinion over the merits of sending people’s beloved pets to combat, but
the response was overwhelming.
woman sent a message to accompany her offer: “my husband has gone, my
sons have gone, take my dog to help bring this cruel world to an early
And so, the most unusual regiment of the war started to form.
Britain had used dogs in military service before.
During the Great War, Lt Col Edwin Hautenville Richardson had trained
hundreds of Airedales up at his kennels in Shoeburyness, Essex, to
carry messages along the communication lines of the Western Front.
the War Dogs Training School was a different beast altogether. When it
officially opened for business on May 5, 1942 at a greyhound kennels in
Northaw, near Potters Bar, 40 recruits were eagerly awaiting training.
By the end of the war some 3,300 had been successfully dispatched to
units across the globe.
200 were killed or reported as missing in action, others went on to
achieve some of the most heroic deeds of the war. A few animals were
heralded following the end of hostilities, but for many their
contribution was never fully recognised. Indeed hundreds were simply
disposed of by the authorities in 1945, never to see their beloved
Now a new book, written by husband and wife team Christy and Clare Campbell, aims to re-writethe role of the war dogs in history.
The pair, both journalists and authors, have uncovered reams of once
secret documents detailing the fiascos and bravery of the animals
recruited in the fight against Hitler.
such as, Rex, a stray black labrador, who in 1945 helped detect so many
mines in the Reichswald Forest that he was hailed by his platoon
commander his platoon commander, Lt Peter Norbury, as the bravest dog
he had ever seen: “saving casualties that would most certainly have
occurred but for his devotion to duty.”
duties so faithfully carried out by the graduates of the War Dogs
Training School also paved the way for the heroism of their modern
forebears in the Royal Veterinary Corps. The PDSA Dickin Medal, which
was introduced in 1943 as the Victoria Cross of animals to recognise
incredible bravery on the frontline, has been awarded 65 times since,
including four times to dogs in Afghanistan.
2010 it emerged that UK Special Forces were parachuting German Shepherd
dogs equipped with video cameras into Taliban strongholds to search
buildings for insurgents. At least eight animals were killed during
operations but as one SAS source said, “that would have been eight SAS
more were attached to regular troops, searching the ground for
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and buried weapons and rooting out
ambushes. The arms and explosives search dog Buster, who passed away in
retirement in July this year aged 13, was known among troops as the dog
that saved 1,000 lives.
'The search and patrol dogs give the guys a little bit of home when they are out there'
Corporal Stacey Graham
Stacey Graham was one of the dog handlers deployed to Helmand in 2012
alongside Bosh, her Belgian Malinois. “As soon as he arrived it was
like an instant input of morale,” says the 27-year-old RAF police
officer. “The search dogs and patrol dogs give the guys a little bit of
home when they are out there. Also there is the reassurance of what the
dogs can do.”
in the Second World War, soldiers given animals from the War Dogs
Training School were expressly ordered not to grow attached – “DON’T
make friends with or pet any of these dogs,” barked an official decree.
in Afghanistan, Graham admits, this is not something she ever quite
managed with the now retired Bosh. “Not to sound like a big softie but
he was my best friend out there. I loved that dog to absolute pieces
and still do. He meant the world to me. When things were bad I had him
and he was there to look after me and the guys I was with. It gave me
1942, the dogs were sent into combat with nothing like the training
they receive today. The war dogs made their debut in North Africa but
the experiment proved a disaster. Of the 36 listed as being sent out to
the campaign, only five survived. The curt description of their deaths
in the records tells of many a tragic end. Chum, an Airedale, was
described as “drowned on landing” in November 1942. Prince, a Labrador
attached to the 5bn Northamptons was said to have “burned to death in a
bombed out vehicle.”
under the expert eye of Herbert Lloyd, the legendary Cocker Spaniel
breeder and chief technical adviser at the War Dogs Training School,
its training methods soon began to dramatically improve.
daughter is 78-year-old Jennifer Lloyd Carey, herself a renowned canine
expert and the longest-running competitor at Crufts who has attended
every show since 1948. She remembers, as a child, saluting at the
trucks as they shipped donated animals to the training centre - and her
father being constantly busy doing night-training with the dogs. “The
book is an amazing investigation and makes me very proud of my father,”
the war progressed, not only were the animals trained to guard, patrol
and sniff out enemy mines, but some were even taught how to parachute
in behind enemy lines. Brian, a two year-old Collie Cross, was one of
the most-famous so-called “paradogs” and was awarded thePDSA Dickin Medalfor
his service. During the D Day Landings, Brian and several other animals
dropped in to France under heavy enemy anti-aircraft fire.
He survived the war and returned to his owner to resume civilian life before dying of natural causes in 1955.
many would not prove so fortunate. Only 1,500 of the war dogs actually
came home. The rest were bought by the government for further service
in Germany and destroyed (the strays first) when their “military
usefulness” was over. Of the 17 dogs cited for the RSPCA For Valour
Medal - only three actually ever received it.
in the modern era, many who have served their country so bravely have
ended up meeting a similar fate, due to fears of dangerous behavioural
issues back in the real world. In 2013, the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
sparked anoutcry after it emerged that 280 dogs had been put downin
the previous three years – including two that had been assigned to
guard the Duke of Cambridge. As a result it said it would review its
procedures so former guard dogs are checked by a military vet and an
experienced dog handler before a decision is taken whether or not to
put them down - and willalways try to re-home them wherever possible.
Perhaps, finally, Britain's pet veterans can look forward to an honourable retirement.
of Courage by Clare and Christy Campbell is published by Corsair priced
£14.99. To order your copy for £12.99 plus p&p call 0844 871 1514
Rogues gallery — with Mick Larkman, Steve Gray,Dusty Mack, Iain Todd and Stewart McArdle at Windermere House
folks ! At the request of his wife and friends, I am afraid that I bear
bad news regarding one of our erstwhile colleagues, Roger Johnson. I
am sure that there are quite a few of you who remember Roger.
Unfortunately, he is now suffering from a condition called "Picks
Disease" (aka "Picts Disease") which is an aggressively progressive
form of Dementia. The prognosis is that Roger has only a very short
time left ! Friends arranged a "party" for Roger and others in his Care Home on Sunday 6 September.
A few old Dog men (and a woman - Georgie Mack) attended at
Windermere House, in Hull, to help raise funds for the Dementia Charity.
Dynamic Security trains dogs to use their natural hunting instincts to
find bomb odors more quickly than conventionally trained and operated
bomb-sniffing dogs. Photo courtesy of Global Dynamic Security
Aug 28, 2015|by Kris Osborn
A handful of key U.S.
allies around the globe are considering the purchase of a new kind of
bomb-sniffing dog designed to harness innate wolf-like hunting
instincts and locate dangerous source odors much more quickly than
conventional bomb-detecting dogs.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi
Arabia and Jordan are among the countries exploring dogs trained by a
small Virginia-based firm called Global Dynamic Security, which was
founded in 2010, company officials said.
"We are currently
preparing to train and ship dogs to U.S. allies," Shawn Deehan, Global
Dynamic Security founder and CEO, told Military.com in an interview.
Deehan claims his
innovative training methods, proven in numerous test scenarios, are
based on prolonged study of the natural hunting behaviors of wolves and
thousands of years of evolution.
"Our behavioral science
model is based on the evolved nature of canines and based on evolution
itself. I studied wolves for more than 10 years and observed their
behaviors. That was instructive, and it illuminated what was really
happening with wolves," Deehan said.
Unlike most existing
bomb-detecting dogs, which are usually led on a leash by a handler,
Deehan's dogs are trained to rapidly use their natural hunting
abilities without needing to be led by humans.
"We hyper-sensitize them
to an odor. We amplify and intensify natural canine hunting behavior
and allow them to perform off of a leash," he said.
Having trained thousands
of dogs over the years, Deehan says he has succeeded recently in
demonstrating how quickly his dogs can independently detect bomb, drug,
ammunition and other key odors. The four demonstration dogs trained
using Deehan's new method are able to detect source odors in a
different, much faster way compared to most existing bomb-sniffing dogs
currently used by the military and law enforcement communities, Deehan
The demonstration dogs
include two Malinois, which are Belgian Shepherd dogs, a Dutch Shepherd
and a Czechoslovakian Shepherd, Deehan said.
"We felt that in order
to have integrity, we needed to prove the method 100 percent in a
number of scenarios. In the last three years, our dogs have been as
close to 100 percent reliable as they can be," he said.
For instance, Deehan
said his dogs were able to locate a bomb-scented Q-tip buried in the
mud in an upside-down salt shaker three acres away in less than four
"The salt shaker
contained a Q-tip that had been in a bag containing bomb odor. The salt
shaker was then put into a hole that was two inches in diameter. The
holes were turned upside down and the shaker was put into the mud
beneath the grass. The dog was starting from 120 yards away. The dog
worked a three-and-a-half acre field. Our dog found it in around four
minutes," Deehan said.
Deehan argues that most
conventionally trained bomb-sniffing dogs, which are often brought
through areas in grid pattern and typically led by humans, would likely
need at least 45 minutes to an hour to find the same Q-tip.
"Dogs can follow the
trail of a deer for three miles. Dogs have been hunting prey for
millions of years. The conventional method has introduced human
behavior into something where human beings were never present. We
studied evolution itself in a way that no one has ever studied," he
Deehan plans to train thousands
of these dogs and deliver them to interested U.S. allies around the
globe. Each dog costs $110,000; however, that price includes a one-year
maintenance, support and training contract, he said.
The annual Lossie
raft race took place on Sunday (August 2) drawing a crowd of over 3000
people despite the unpredictable weather.
The race is
organised by the Royal Air Force (RAF) base along with Moray Council
and Grampian Police to raise money for local charities and engage with
the local community.
This year Cash For Kids and the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ were the chosen charities.
Of the 19 teams that started the race only 5 managed to finish, with one team’s raft falling apart even before the start line.
RAF Lossiemouth’s Police Dog Section were the victors ending the Steamboat Inn’s short 1 year hold of the title.
The winning craft was built from oil drums.
design, used last year as a Viking ‘long ship’, proved manoeuvrable and
quick as it led in a close finish with ‘Cash for Kids’ raft.
Ollie Harbridge said: “The raft race was a great success again this
year. I’m obviously happy that a RAF Lossiemouth team won and I think
the friendly competition helped to make this year’s event the most
“It was however a shame that most of the rafts didn’t make it to the finish, with only 5 teams making the finishing line.
“I’d like to thank
the local businesses and residents of Lossiemouth for their continued
support, for their patience during the disruption of the day, and their
generous donations that have enabled us yet again to raise so much
money for charity and put on this community event with such success.”
The money raised
from the event will be split equally between MFR Cash For Kids and the
Make a Wish Foundation. These were chosen to ensure two local charities
receive all the benefits from the generosity of local people.
The final result of the race was:
1st – RAF Lossiemouth Police Dog Section
2nd – MFR
3rd – The Steamboat Inn, Lossiemouth
4th – 1 (F) Squadron
5th – ‘The Spitfire Sirens’, RAF Lossiemouth
** Remaining teams failed to finish.
No hard feelings from runners up…or those whose craft couldn’t cross the finish
Outfits that don’t seem too tactical for the chilly waters
A great spectacle for service men and women as well as local people
Is that a bit of sabotage going on there? Or is it a rescue?
Sabotage seems more and more likely…who can say though
Help required from someone
trying to research his late father's RAFP service... This photo was
possibly taken in Malta... Given the prominent sign for the dog
section, can anyone confirm the RAF station/unit...??