Dogs of War MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Henry Moulds

The memorial commemorates war dogs that have served with the Australian Defence Force.

Australian Military forces enlisted the help of man’s best friend during World War One when German shepherds were given the task of watching over valuable military equipment. In Vietnam, the Australian Task Force included dogs in combat tracker teams. Their mission was to search the jungle for the enemy, and eleven were left behind, as it was against policy to return a service animal to Australia.

A dog's keen sense of smell aided our soldiers in detecting mines, in a similar fashion to the bomb detector dogs of today. They were often used to search for and aid the wounded. During World War Two specially designed gas masks were made for the canine division.

In 1943, a special medal was created to honour the dogs who have fought and fallen in combat. 18 canine comrades have so far been awarded the Dickin Medal — the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross — for their acts of heroism and bravery. The medal, a bronze medallion bears the words 'For Gallantry'.


Address:Uhr & Gray Streets, Hughenden, 4821
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -20.841131
Long: 144.200861
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2010
Front Inscription

Memorial dedicated to the dogs of war


This memorial was erected by the Hughenden RSL (Qld) Sub Branch with a grant from the Gaming Community Benefit Fund.

The Australian Defence Forces (ADF) then known as the Australian Infantry Force (AIF) have used dog since World War I and wars and conflicts since.  During World War I as well as providing companionship, dogs were trained to sniff out explosives, find fallen soldiers and carry messages.  These dogs were used by the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) in 1918 in the trenches if France who used British trained dogs.  Australian Military Forces enlisted the help of man`s best friend during World War II when German Shepherds were given the task of watching over valuable equipment.

The use of search dogs with the corps dates back to 1944 when the 1st Australian Dog Platoon, RAE was raised.  The RAE units used British trained mine dogs in Korea during 1951.  In 1952 the Australian Army started training mine dogs and scout dogs at the School of Military Engineers (SME).

In Vietnam, the Australian Task Force included dogs in combat teams.  Their mission was to search the jungle for the enemy, and eleven four legged diggers were left behind.  Dogs were also used in Afghanistan to sniff out explosives.  These dogs saved the lives of Australian soldiers and civilians alike.  Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were the biggest threats to Australian soldiers.

Australia has also used dogs in the Solomon Islands as part of the UN, Bougainville and East Timor.  Amongst the first troops to land were Military Working Dog Teams of the RAAF to secure the airfield.  Present all three forces of the ADF including the Navy, Army and Air Force use dogs for various roles for the defence of our country.  Military dogs have been and always will an important part of the ADF.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au