Nigel Dodds MP with David Hanson MP, centre, at the launch of the National Military Working Dog Trust appeal at Westminster


North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has pledged his support for the construction of a new national memorial to honour military working dogs, to be based in Brynford, North Wales.

The memorial will be constructed on site and has the support from members of the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force. The mausoleum will cost around £150,000 to build and will feature four bronze statues who will guard over the plaques commemorating the work of the Armed Forces service animals who have served with distinction.

The four dogs guarding over the mausoleum will be based upon four dogs who served with distinction. The first will be of Buster who died in 2015 aged 13. He served in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq – sniffing out ordnance and booby traps before they could kill British service personnel. On retirement Buster became the mascot of the RAF Police.

Another dog to be immortalised in bronze will be Theo, who died of a broken heart after his owner Lce Cpl Liam Tasker was shot dead in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2011. Theo 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. 

The other bronzes will be of Judy, who served on the Yangtze River in World War Two and even survived a pirate attack before becoming a Japanese POW, and Air Dog Lucky, who tracked insurgents through the jungles of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. Both Judy and Lucky survived their service and were awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery.

Speaking at the launch of a fundraising appeal, hosted by David Hanson MP at Westminster last week, Nigel Dodds said, “The outstanding bravery of the military service dogs over the years has gone unrecognised for too long. It was a pleasure to pledge my support for this new national memorial.

“At the event I was able to hear some of the truly heroic acts these working dogs have done to protect our Armed Forces. I know that this memorial will mean a great deal to dog handlers or those with military connections. The mausoleum will be a fitting tribute to our military dogs and I look forward to its completion.”

ENDS

 




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