Secret Scotland

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Dogs of war get significant memorial in Angus

Interesting to note that memorials are still be raised to commemorate events dating from World War I.

In the early 1900s, Airedale terriers were trained in Scotland for World War I.

The training took place around Angus, where local people would play the part of injured soldiers which the dogs would search for. Lt Col Richardson, who lived at Panbride House near Carnoustie, eventually convinced the government the Airedale was the right breed for war work.

Wendy Turner, of the Airedale Terrier Club of Scotland, spoke of her delight at the creation.

She said: “2000 Airdales were in WW1 and that’s stemmed from Angus.

“At first for the British Red Cross, they would carry panniers with first aid equipment.

“They would also go onto the battlefield for wounded soldiers rather than dead soldiers – people that could still be helped. They would bring back a cap or anything that they could show they found a soldier who was alive, take it back to the stretcher bearers and they would follow the dogs out to collect the person.

“They were so good at what they were doing that the British army took notice and asked for them to be trained for them.

“They were used for carrying messages and also carried first aid supplies as well as being guard dogs. They were also used by the Russian army and the German army.”

The memorial was carved from a 30 tonne block of granite by Kirriemuir sculptor Bruce Walker, said to make it one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

The sculpture was funded by donations from around the world, and has been installed at East Haven beach in Angus.

Memorial unveiled commemorating Scotland’s dogs of war


The first four Airedales Lt Col Richardson and his wife trained were presented to Glasgow Police in 1905 and were stationed at Maryhill Police and Queens Park police stations in the city.

These were the first official police dogs in the United Kingdom.

The British Red Cross then used the dogs to locate injured soldiers on the battlefields and also carry first aid supplies and crates of carrier pigeons on their backs.

The breed was trained to wear gas masks and navigate the treacherous and often terrifying conditions of the front lines.

A war dog school was opened in Shoeburyness in Essex and the Richardsons moved there to manage the training of the breed.

Memorial to be unveiled to heroic dogs of war at East Haven

Bruce Walker Carving Pic Credit The Courier

Bruce Walker Carving Pic Credit The Courier

19/05/2019 - Posted by | military, World War I | , ,

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