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George Rix Seawitchartist

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Torn's Memorial

Royal Green Jacket dog handler with army guard dog

In 1974 as a young soldier of I was too young to be allowed to serve in Northern Ireland, so when my battalion, the 2nd Royal Green Jackets was sent there, I took the chance to become  a military dog handler , as a dog section was to formed for the rear party.  Sent for training to the Army Veterinary  Corp college in Melton Mowbray where I was introduced to the Alsatian guard dog that would be 'mine' for the next year. His name was Torn, his army number (yes!) was 2A47.  About four years old and well trained at what he did we patrolled together the  base I was on within Catterick  garrison. With the battalion away and the camp as quiet as a mouse me and the other  ten or so young soldiers, together with some rather old ones also left on Rear party were mostly left to our own devises, the corporal in charge not very interested really. Was I a good dog handler? Well, not really, I kept forgetting he was a working dog and not m own pet. He bit a passing Bandsmen who got too close but couldn't be bothered to chase a baiter during training once......I wasn't allowed to be a dog handler again! Nonetheless, a great mate and I was really sad to hand him over to the regiment that replaced us in Catterick before we went to Gibraltar...no, the dogs couldn't come with us. I don't know what became of him after that, I guess he got used to winding someone else up! I wonder if he pulled off anymore of his great escapes, he got me into trouble a few times like that. I wish I had kept more care of the photos I took, there is little photographic record to use now.

Torn in river

Torn enjoying an unofficial day out in the woods behind our Catterick base. Doing things we weren't really allowed to was quite common, so done carefully!

 

 

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All text and images and linked images are 2003-2015 George Rix .If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email me at copyright@seawitchartist.com