In 2017 I arranged a tour of Lincolnshire to see as many places which were associated with the famous Dambusters 617 Squadron with friends in the Bentley Drivers Club and during that tour one of the chaps presented me with a large toy black dog to acknowledge the hard work I had put into organising the trip.
It then became a tradition that we awarded the dog to a fellow member as we saw fit every year or so and everyone who received the dog looked after it until it was time for it to be awarded to another chap in the club, although this never became an official Bentley Driver Club award.
Last Sunday at our Christmas lunch the black dog was awarded to another fellow and at no time was the name of the dog mentioned, in fact it was referred to as the Guy Gibson award but I was later led to believe there was some uneasiness from a couple of the children and one of the adults attending as to the implication of the dog’s name.
Personally, I’m very much against this modern trend to change and remove things from history as proved by the situation here where people were concerned about the dog’s name and yet at no time was there mention of his name, they have already removed the dog’s name from his grave but everybody still remembers his name.
Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will know that some time ago I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog Theo, I was heartbroken when he went and think of him still on a regular basis for he holds a very special place in my heart and I imagine that would be how Squadron Leader Guy Gibson must have felt about his dog.
What seems even sadder is that the dog was run over and killed on the very night when Guy Gibson and fellow members of 617 Squadron were risking their lives on the famous Dambusters raid.
Guy Gibson did not survive the war and as someone who has also lost a very cherished dog I can’t help imagining how he would feel if he could look down now and see how people are treating the dog’s memory just because he was innocently named Nigger.