I have just seen the news concerning the grave of Nigger, the dog belonging to the famous 617 Squadron Leader Guy Gibson at RAF Scampton; it seems the powers that be have seen fit to remove the original gravestone and replace it with a new one omitting the dogs name.
Here is the original.
Having been there and seen the original grave stone with Niggers name on it I am lost for words as to why it should be removed, you can’t change history and anyone interested enough in the history of the story of the brave men of 617 Squadron, who goes to RAF Scampton and sees the grave will know the dog’s name was Nigger, removing it from the stone will not change history.
Here is the replacement gravestone with no mention of the dogs name; it seems sad enough to me that this very famous dog died on the night of the raid but to now desecrate his grave in this fashion is appalling, surely the dog should be allowed the dignity of his name on his grave.
About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin
I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent.
Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work.
I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise.
I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013.
My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie.
I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes.
I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage.
My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
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This is sickening. PC gone too far. Nigger was a DOG! and an important part of our history to boot. How dare they! I read that one of the reasons they never made a remake of The Dambusters was because of PC and the dog’s name being ‘offensive’. What a load of wusses.
I’ve been there and seen the grave, you shouldn’t change history, next thing is teaching the history of WW2 and removing Hitler’s name and referring to him as “the bad man!”
That is bloody unbelievable what a bunch of Fckers!!
Have we all gone mad. Could someone please explain to the world that 1984 was not a “How to” manual. We cannot, and should not try to, change history.
While I understand preserving history is important, and this certainly is because you won’t ever find something like this in a museum where it can be preserved, but I have a different opinion. I don’t know if Guy Gibson gave him the name or if the whole squadron selected it (and if they did, that’s even worse, IMO!) but it would seem that he was the kind of man who we today would probably find very offensive, given that he felt giving a loved pet a derogatory name. Yes, even then it was an insulting term towards black people. The word is vile as it’s a descriptor of an individual’s hate for another just because of the color of their skin. So for that reason, as much as we can remove the word from sight or being uttered, I’m all for it. Plus, why would we want to continue to condemn a dog – a loving, universal symbol of “A man’s supposed best friend.” – to bearing the name of a symbol of hate?
It wasn’t a derogatory name in those days, they were far more innocent times than we live in now.
I wasn’t alive yet in 1943 so I didn’t experience those times personally. However, I am an avid researcher and love to read up on history, precisely because my education was a complete whitewash. One thing I do know is that the 40s (the time my mom was born), weren’t innocent, what with the war and all in Germany. I’d venture to say that I wouldn’t be far off the mark that every time in history has had its ugly moments.
Thanks for providing that bit of information. It doesn’t shift my opinion. Should history be preserved, absolutely. We can’t learn and grow from it unless we know it. Having said that, it doesn’t change the fact the word has always been derogatory and the only reason it was “accepted” is because racists made it that way. I would have no objection to his grave stone being shown to highlight that people were indeed racist during that time, but I believe the proper place for its expression would be as a historical artifact at a museum. The word, as I said earlier, is a vile reminder of how we treated some human beings as being less than one, and should not have a place in public without historical context and education when it is just displayed as if this was acceptable.
I’m not old enough to have been around in WW2 but I was born in 1951 and I know there was no racial attachment to naming your dog Nigger. People would not even have thought of a race aspect in those days, it was quite simply because the dog was black as indeed one would name an animal Ginger if that was the colour of the animal.
And quite simply, it was because the word was originally referenced due to a black person’s skin color just like Ginger was a nickname for a red haired person. But the difference is that “Gingers” were never enslaved. Using the word was commonplace because the original racists made it so, and because of that I can understand where you would think there was no racial attachment. That’s how you grew up. However, history tells us that black people were used and abused, and the term was derogatory because it oppressed black people. I’m not sure why you are defending this word or downplaying that historically people were racist and the continuation of its usage is inappropriate. Again, historically preserving it, yes, but stating that unintentional furthering of the word was appropriate, seems a bit as if you are condoning it, Joe.
Then leave the grave alone and if you want to add something new, put up a sign with an explanation, one of the reasons I’m so concerned is I like classic cars and you want one that is as original as it can be, that’s the way to have one, not like Triggers broom, or a replacement gravestone.
That would work too. While I understand your need for preservation, a classic car never hurt anyone, so it’s not a real good analogy. Calling out the bad parts of our history, is about “righting” them. The idea is not to perpetuate them, and IMO, the owners of that dog did exactly that by glossing over the vileness of that word by naming their dog that. And the excuse was, “Well, we only meant he was black.” without fully appreciating how they were giving oppression and discrimination a free pass. Who was it that said “You learn better, you do better.”?
I can see we are never going to see eye to eye on this matter and we shall just have to agree to differ. The only comment I can make from my point of view is; I visited RAF Scampton a couple of years ago with like minded friends of mine, we wanted to see for ourselves the place where the history of the amazing 617 Squadron took place. It is very moving when going round and seeing the buildings and Niggers grave, which was one of the few original items that were left from the war which was untouched. Guy Gibson’s office for example was empty but we still got a feeling of what it must have been like for those brave young men. I was accompanied by my wife, a black woman who was born in Jamaica, she was not offended by the grave or the word Nigger as she viewed it as a historical monument and one which reflected a more innocent time when the word did not have the same meaning as it has today. I wish you well and respect your right to your opinion.
You are correct that we will never see eye to eye on this matter. Sad, but ok. I also wish you well and respect your right to your opinion, but I will never respect your view on this issue, as that is also my right.
Based on our conversation, I feel you are not willing to understand the harm of misrepresenting the truth of the history of this word. Your consistent use of it throughout your commenting as if it had legitimate and historical value makes it appropriate for you to wave it around because it existed at one time demonstrates that. That, IMO, is being intentionally obtuse. Forgive me if my directness offends, but throughout our conversation, and for those you have had with others on this post who support your thinking, you all seem to miss the point. I’m hoping being blunt about this succeeds in it landing somehow in your collective humanity.
Not once in our conversation have you acknowledged racism being an ugly part of our history. You continue to defend and perpetuate it when you say “innocent times” when they weren’t. You are intellectually dishonest about what the word in reality meant. That’s what’s at the heart of this conversation. For me, that’s the problem. I see you claiming to preserve history by defending the use of the word, not acknowledging the racist undertones prevalent in our society at that time.
To address your comment about Hitler – Hitler was a name, and the N-word is an inflammatory and derogatory word that denigrated and oppressed black people. Just because they were names given, isn’t comparing apples to apples. It’s an illogical comparison.
Lastly, I was born in 1962, when the civil rights movement was in full swing. Thankfully, I grew up in a household where I was taught that a person’s skin color didn’t determine their character, and to respect the struggles black people in our country have had to endure. It included understanding how to learn from our past and do and be better, even today.
I agree with you completely. We cannot change history nor should we attempt it. As you say it was a far more innocent time.
We cannot learn from history by attempting to erase it. This action borders on vandalism.
I visited RAF Scampton which was where Niggers grave is and from where the 617 Dam Busters were based, one goes there because the place is full of history, or should I saw was full of history. I have written to RAF Scampton to ask if the old gravestone will be available for visitors to see in the future, I await their response with bated breath!
I hope they haven’t destroyed it.
That thought hadn’t crossed my mind, that would be awful; it should be available to see somewhere discrete, so we don’t upset the snowflakes!
Yes, it should.
Guy Gibson and his dog are part of England history, his name should be reinstated on his memorial stone, it’s clearly his name, not a racial slur.
LEAVE HISTORY AS IT WAS WRITTEN BY THOSE WHO WERE THERE!! PLEASE LETS KICK P.C. CLEAR OUT OF HISTORICAL FACT!!
TRUTH IS THE WORLD IS GETTING PIG SICK OF SELF APPOINTED EDITORS WHO FEEL THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO ‘CHANGE HISTORY’!!
THAT THEY FIND OFFENSIVE !! HISTORY ‘MUST NEVER EVER BECOME EDITED AT THE DEMANDS OF ‘ANY GROUP OF PEOPLE!!!!!!
ELSE WE WILL BE HEADING FOR A SUPPRESSION THAT WILL MAKE PEOPLE LIKE HITLER INTO SOME KIND OF GOOD GUY!!! WE CANNOT LEARN WITHOUT MAKING MISTAKES!! THERE IS NO SUCH WORLD THAT CAN EVER EXIST WITHOUT THE TRUTH!!!! GOOD AND BAD!!! WE MUST NEVER LOOSE THE RIGHT TO HAVE AN OPINION!!!!
EVER!!!! REGARDS CAMILLA
I agree absolutely.
Couldn’t agree more Camilla, leave our history as it was originally done rather than being changed by a few snowflakes, Nigger was part of that history, his name needs keeping alive, RIP lad.