DAWGS display creates interest

Bing with one of his handlers
Bing with one of his handlers

A dog rehoming charity has been overwhelmed by the interest in the Remembrance Day window display at its charity shop in Alford.

DAWGS, which is based in Aberdeen, finds suitable new homes for dogs, whose owners can no longer take care of them, throughout the North-east.

Part of the Remebrance Day window display in DAWGS charity shop in Alford

Part of the Remebrance Day window display in DAWGS charity shop in Alford

As well as commemorating the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts, the window exhibition in Alford also commemorates the role that animals played in helping to save lives - including a dog called Bing.

Bing (originally named “Brian”) was given to the army in 1944 when his owners, the Fetch family from Loughborough in Leicestershire, were no longer able to feed him due to rationing.

He was trained at the Army War Dog Training School near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire to locate the enemy and protect military personnel.

Bing first saw action with his handler and trainer Lance Corporal Ken Bailey in a Recce Platoon with the 13th Parachute Battalion, part of the 6th Airborne Division over Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944.

He was later wounded in action and treated at the Vet Kennels near Stockport and served in France until September, 1944. On March 24, 1945, Bing dropped over the Rhine with his new handler Corporal ‘Jack’ Walton, and took part in Operation Varsity, Operation Plunder and the advance into Germany.

After the war, he was returned to the Fetch family. He was awarded the Dickin Medal by the PDSA in 1947 for bravery in service during World War II – and is displayed at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

One of the Alford shop managers, Heather Wakeling, explained: “We know that dogs are loyal and faithful friends in peacetime but while researching information about Remembrance Day we found out how loyal and brave they and other animals were under the most dangerous situations during the war.

“As well as honoring the fallen, our window honours them too.”

The DAWGS charity shop is at 44 Main Street, Alford.