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War Dogs To Be Commemorated With Memorial

An Angus memorial commemorating Airedale terriers and the soldiers they served beside in World War One will be unveiled this year.

The memorial will be installed at East Haven Beach in Carnoustie, where Lt Col Edwin Richardson trained the dogs in the early 1900s.

Lt Col Richardson eventually convinced the government that the Airedale was the right breed for war work.

The sculpture is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK. It is being hewn from a 30 ton block of granite by sculptor Bruce Walker and apprentice Kevin Hill.

Mr Walker said the sculpture would capture the dogs’ dedication and power, both mental and physical. He said: “It’s their relationship with their handler that’s important- it was usually one man, one dog.”

Wendy Turner from the Airedale Terrier Club of Scotland is the driving force behind the memorial.

She said that even before the war, the potential for dogs to carry out military duties was clear.

She said: “It started off with the British Red Cross and they used to send the dogs out onto the battlefield. “If they found someone who was still breathing they would bring back something like a cap, take it to the stretcher bearers and then lead them out to where the person was injured. “So that was a very important job obviously, saving lives. “Eventually the British Army, seeing what they were doing, got more interested in them being trained for them.”