News

Horrie the Wog Dog: A war hero

TRIBUTE: Ballina's Bert Elliott from Summerland Antiques and Garden Centre was commissioned to have a bronze sculpture made of Horrie the Wog Dog, which was a Second World War hero.
TRIBUTE: Ballina's Bert Elliott from Summerland Antiques and Garden Centre was commissioned to have a bronze sculpture made of Horrie the Wog Dog, which was a Second World War hero. Graham Broadhead

BERT Elliott has organised many bronze sculptures to be imported into Australia - but none have touched him the way a sculpture of an Egyptian terrier has.

"This is a fantastic story," he said.

The owner of Ballina's Summerland Antiques and Garden Centre is talking about the story of a dog nicknamed Horrie the Wog Dog which became a Second World War hero.

Bert was commissioned by the Man from Snowy River Museum at Corryong in north-eastern Victoria to organise the life-size bronze statue of the dog.

"This is the most special thing I've ever done," he said.

"It's alright to do bronze elephants and fountains, but this is part of history.

"I'm proud in getting it done."

According to the Australian War Memorial website, Private Jim Moody, from the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion, in 1941 found a puppy in the Ikingi Mariut part of the Western Desert in Egypt. Horrie became the unofficial mascot of the battalion, travelling with them from Egypt to Greece, Crete, Palestine and Syria, then to Australia in 1942.

Horrie also protected the men, acting as a guard dog and reportedly gave the troops early warning of the approach of enemy aircraft.

The dog even survived the sinking of the ship Costa Rica on which the unit was being evacuated from Greece to Crete, and was wounded by a bomb splinter in Crete, which was removed by a knife.

Such was the care the troops gave Horrie, he was issued with a coat cut from a service dress to keep him warm.

Pte Moody smuggled Horrie into Australia when the battalion arrived in 1942.

The story of the dog was going to be published by Ion Idriess, with Pte Moody vowing to use the publicity Horrie would get to help the Red Cross' fundraising.

But this alerted quarantine officials to the dog's history, and they were adamant Horrie had to be surrendered.

And it seemed the troop's four-legged mate was put down on March 12, 1945.

But there is a twist to this dog's tale.

Anthony Hill, in his book Animal Heroes, claims a look-a-like dog was surrendered in Horrie's place and Horrie lived out the rest of his life near Corryong.

The Australian War Memorial has Horrie's uniform and travelling pack in its collection.

Bert was approached to organise the bronze statue by a member of the Man from Snowy River Museum committee who heard his 13-year history having bronze works made in Thailand.

The museum sent photos of Horrie and measurements for the statue to be made.

The project took about 10 months, and Bert is very pleased with the result.

Bert said he would have the Horrie statue on display at Summerland Antiques and Garden Centre, Smith Dr, Ballina, until Sunday.

Topics:  second world war



Are cannabis raids effective?

HIGH TIMES: Police from Strike Force Hyperion unload cannabis seized from Clouds Creek State Forest south of Nymboida, which had an estimated street value of over $400,000.

Police cannabis raids put under the microscope

Five bushfires burning on the Northern Rivers

Fire near Evans Head as captured by Von Pyne.

Residents warned there is a great deal of fire risk today

Splendour, Falls Festival acquired by company

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Company that brings you two local music festivals purchased

Local Partners

Delays expected on Pacific Highway

ROADS and Maritime Services have advised motorists changed traffic conditions will be in place this week.


REVEALED: A new Northern Rivers music festival in 2017

Lismore Music Festival co-directors Scott Cooper and Paul Connelly.

Mark March 10 and 11 in your calendar

This weekend's markets list

BIG VOICE: Ron the Coffee Man is a popular and regular stallholder at a number of local markets.

Where to get fresh local produce from

Not ten, but fifteen awesome things to do this week

ANNIVERSARY: Charity day party Nudge Nudge Wink Wink has raised almost $20,000 for local organisations in its first year of events.

This busy week we have pretty much every possible event you may want

REVEALED: A new Northern Rivers music festival in 2017

Lismore Music Festival co-directors Scott Cooper and Paul Connelly.

Mark March 10 and 11 in your calendar

Katie Holmes' empowering directorial debut

Katie Holmes

KATIE Holmes as made her directorial debut

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!