Friday, 11 November 2016

11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day

oil painting of dog who served in world war 1
This is a re-work of an older painting, but I thought it could bear the weight of being displayed once more, if only for the subject matter.

This Bull Terrier type dog is Sergeant Stubby of the US Army. He is said to be the most decorated  dog of World War 1 and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted through combat. He took part in 17 battles over 18 months on the Western Front.

His sense of smell enabled him to save his regiment from mustard gas attacks; he could hear the whine of incoming shells before people could and warned them; he found the wounded, stranded in No Man’s Land, and they could help themselves to medicines he carried in his coat. He once caught a German soldier and held on to him by the seat of his trousers until help came.

He was smuggled on to a troop ship by Corporal Robert Conroy from Connecticut. On being discovered by the commanding officer, he was allowed to remain when the dog saluted the officer, as Corporal Conroy had taught him to do. He earned many medals and insignia. His chamois coat was made by the residents of a French town liberated by his regiment.

In Memorium - for all the fallen, including those with 4 paws or 4 hooves.

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