Loyal army dog to be honoured in a new memorial

Liam with Theo who is being honoured as part of a new national memorial.
Liam with Theo who is being honoured as part of a new national memorial.

A loyal army dog who died of a broken heart after his Kirkcaldy handler was killed in action in Afghanistan is to be commemmorated by a national memorial.

Explosives search dog Theo was with Lance Corporal Liam Tasker when he was shot down by Taliban snipers in 2011. Theo died just a few hours later.

Now he will be cast in bronze along with three other service dogs who are being honoured on a new National Military Working Dog Memorial in North Wales.

The project is the brainchild of the National Military Working Dogs Memorial (NMWDM) charity. It will commemorate Theo at the Pet Cemetery in Holywell along with RAF police mascot Buster; Royal Navy mascot and registered prisoner of war Judy and Lucky, a survivor of the Malaya campaign and RAF dog.

A fundraising campaign has begun with £150,000 needed to build the memorial.

Emma Ward, who works at the pet cemetery and is a NMWDM trustee, said: “We wanted to build a memorial for all the working dogs and we chose Theo to represent the Army. The project has the support of Liam’s family, and we spoke to his mum Jane. She was proud for this to be done because Liam would have been proud to have Theo remembered in this way.

“It is still quite raw for Jane as it was only in 2011 that it happened so we wanted to make sure she knew about this before we went ahead.

“We want the statue to look like Theo so Liam’s mum sent us a photo of her son with him and we are using that for the design. We want to do it justice.”

At the time of his death Theo had made the most confirmed operational finds by any arms and explosives search dog in Afghanistan. The black and white spaniel was posthumously awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, the PDSA Dickin Medal.

It is hoped to have the memorial built next year.

For further information visit: https://nmwdm.org.uk/hero-dogs/