25th October 1993 to 10th January 2008
Shane late puppyhood
For many years I have been a trumpeter, I was in the RAF as a Boy Entrant and when I joined the RAF voluntary band, I was asked to play the last Post and reveille at funerals and on armistice day and on remembrance day. In 1995 the 50th anniversary of VE Day and VJ Day, the children of the local Primary school had helped to create a Peace Rose Garden. It was to be dedicated by the Bishop of Ely. The organisers of the event wanted something that would please the children and keep their interest during the service. I suggested that I bring my Rough Collie along, as there were many animals used during the two world wars, and he could represent them. The Royal British Legion Member present thought this was a good idea and provided the Legion badges for the ceremonial jacket. I designed the jacket and Sandra my wife made it. When it was made we tried it on Shane, I expected him to throw it off, but he never did and never has, he seemed to know that it was for doing something special. The day came for the ceremony and he was so well behaved.
The children love him, and he loved all the fuss. The next event was a Parade at the Village of Foulden, Which was connected with the American Air Force during the Second world war they had a parade on VJ Day. We had to march in front of the Banners that the US Air Force fly on parade. This I thought would really spook Shane, No not him. The Americans thought he was wonderful. Our first funeral was for the secretary of the Royal British Legion at Swaffham. She had requested before she died we would attend. Which we did. Shane was at this time learning how to salute. Which is to raise a paw and hold it steady for 2 to 3 seconds or longer if required. We were at the entrance of the church getting instructions when the cortège arrived, so we stood to one side at the back of the Hurst. As the casket was removed I asked Shane quietly to salute. Which he did? In between times he has been to every Remembrance Day service. Never putting a foot wrong.
Shane and Laddie with the Royal British Legion Standard Bearers at Downham Market.
In 2004 he was seen at the Poppy launch in Downham Market, saluting the general public when they made a donation to the poppy appeal. He was seen and photographed by the Red Arrows trust photographer; he was so impressed by the way Shane was saluting each time he was asked. He photographed Shane in action. He took the photograph to the Red Arrows Headquarters and showed it to the commanding Officer who was also impressed. Shane was sent the crest of the Red Arrows and made an honorary member. The photograph now hangs in the officer’s mess at Scampton so I am told.
In 2005 being the 60th Anniversary of VE & VJ day Hunstanton Royal British Legion had a sponsored walk from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton calling at all the war memorials on the way, including the memorial at Sandringham were the team was asked by the Queen to have there Photograph taken in front of the House. The photograph apparently is now on the Queens writing desk in the house. The day after in Hunstanton there was a large parade from the joint services club to the cenotaph on the sea front lead by the full Norwich pipe band. Shane & I had position just behind the band leading the parade (a great honour). The height of summer what a crowd.
Memorial at Sandringham
Shane has also attended many memorials at the Desert Rats (8th
Army) memorial at Mundford were he is highly thought of as after each ceremony I
take him to the memorial and he salutes the memorial to honour all those human
and canine that fell in both world wars, and are still risking there lives in
Shane saluting the Desert Rats Memorial 2006
In 2006 Shane attended a funeral of a Far East PoW. An open day at RAF Marham he and his apprentice Ladnar Highland Lad (Laddie) raised sixty pounds for the RBL. Also they both attended the Swaffham Carnival and raised a little more. Shane was asked to attend as a VID(Very Important Dog) at the Bouvier Des Flandres club of GB fun day were he was well spoilt. November 11th armistice day Shane and Laddie attended a parade on the town square at Downham Market for the two minutes silence. November 12th Remembrance Day Shane and Laddie attended the church at Fincham (Full Service) and laying of wreaths. Shouldham Thorpe short service and laying of wreaths, then Shouldham short service and laying of Wreaths. Marham with the RAF Guard of Honour service and laying of wreaths, that was the morning. The afternoon to Munford at the 8th Army parade.
Marham Service of Remembrance
The 5th January 2007 Shane and I were asked to attend a full military funeral for a serving member of the RAF. It was a bit daunting although Shane was use to low flying aircraft he was not use to a firing party full guard of honour and hundreds of people in military uniform and hats. As usual I should have trusted him to do his job. The guard of honour took their place, The mourners took their place, the pallbearers and padres started there long walk up to the graveside, the low flying Tornado flew over. The coffin was lowered; the firing party fired three volleys over the grave. Shane didn’t waver one bit he was steadfast in his duty. As usual Shane upheld the honour that is the Rough Collie. In 2007 Shane and Laddie were asked to attend the Desert Rats annual reunion. At Mundford on the 24th June.
On the 24 October 2007 Shane and I were asked to attend the 65th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamain in the presence of HRH Duchess of Cornwall. a great honour. Shane was presented to HRH which I think was the second highlight of his career.
On Remembrance Day 2007 Shane carried out his last engagements the first was at the church in Fincham were he started, and his last was at the Desert Rats Memorial. After the service Mr Rod Scott in front of Lieutenant General Sir Anthony Mallens K.C.B. O.B.E., Mrs Gillian Shepherd MP. , and the general public announced Shane's retirement, and Laddies succession, and for our services to the Desert Rats Memorial Trust He would like us to accept honory status.
Shane meets a member of the Royal Family-Cammilla Oct 2007
Below is one of the Thank you cards Shane and I have received. All Monies I receive are given to the Royal British Legion.
On the 10th of January 2008 Shane sadly left us, after a very full life,
bringing us a huge amount of fun loyalty, happiness in bucket loads.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the work that one of our charges has undertaken in his 13+ years.
His Apprentice will take over the reign in November 2007.
I am sure Laddie will carry out his duties with pride.
Shane's Family History
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Copyright © Debbie Wells 2007
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