Britain's First Memorial For Military Dogs Unveiled
Britain's first ever memorial to commemorate the bravery of military dogs has been unveiled.
The £15,000 National Military Dogs monument will be constructed next year in Flintshire, North Wales, but the design has just been revealed - and it looks like a beautiful tribute to all the brave pups.
The monument - which commemorates military dogs who have served in conflicts all over the globe - will feature four canine figures created by renowned sculptor Andy Edwards.
You can see the design below:
The four pooches featuring are Judy, Theo, Lucky and Buster. The memorial will feature a central folly, with four paths leading north, south, east and west.
Each pooch will represent the branch in which they served. Judy was the only dog to be recognised as a prisoner of war during the Second World War. She was awarded the Dickin Medal in 1946 for saving lives and boosting morale in the Sumatran prisoner of war camps.
Meanwhile, Theo - a black and white springer spaniel - was awarded an honorary 'wings' by the Parachute Regiment and was credited with saving many lives in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010.
Theo passed away just hours after his handler, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, was tragically killed by an enemy sniper in 2011.
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Lucky - a German shepherd - was one of four dogs posted to the Malayan Emergency between 1949 and 1952, while Buster, a spring spaniel was also awarded a Dickin Medal (known as the animals' equivalent of a Victoria Cross) after his time in the Iraq War.
Speaking to Anna Webb's A Dog's Life Podcast this week, campaigner Emma Ward said: "Dogs were a very important part of the military and we think they deserve recognition for what they have done.
"When we looked at where we are situated the memorial it's very central, particularly when you are looking also at dogs that served in Northern Ireland.
"A lot of the existing memorials to animals are always down south, so it's nice to get something a little bit further north.
"We've been gifted the land and it will have its own entrance and be open to the public. Other memorials for dogs have been at the side of a military base, so aren't open to the public."
"It's a long overdue memorial, many military personnel have tried for years to get this in the National Memorial Arboretum but without any success."
The memorial is set to be the first not to have generic sculptures representing service dogs, with podcast host Anna Webb explaining how "every dog is extraordinary".
"A Dog's Life highlights why every dog is extraordinary, and how our understanding of dogs is changing to credit them from possibly saving us from ourselves.
"Remembrance Day is vital to pay respects, remember - lest we forget. Every dog is a hero, but the dogs that served were diligent, resolute, fearless and relentless often paying the ultimate sacrifice as man's best friend."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
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