Sergeant Gander – A Canadian War Dog Hero

December 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm 6 comments

It was seventy years ago in December when Sergeant Gander gave the ultimate sacrifice serving his country in the Battle of Hong Kong during WWII.

Gander, a Newfoundland dog who started out as a mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada, became a hero for saving many lives of his regiment in the defence of Hong Kong Island during WWII.  Twice Gander’s attack halted enemy’s advance and in a final act of bravery, sensing the danger against a group of wounded Canadian soldiers under intense fire, Gander picked up a live grenade and ran with it in his mouth.  It exploded killing him in action.  Without Gander’s intervention and ultimate sacrifice, many more lives would have been lost.

Gander received the highest honor in bravery and was presented posthumously the Dickin Medal – often referred to as the animals’ Victoria Cross.  The ceremony took place in 2000, some fifty years after his death.  A look-alike Newfoundland dog named Rimshot stood in for Gander to receive the medal in a touching ceremony. The medal is now on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

At the insistence of survivors of the battle, Sergeant Gander’s name was listed with those of 1975 men and two women on the Hong Kong Veterans Memorial Wall, unveiled in Ottawa, Canada in 2009. A war dog hero honored, alongside his fellow soldiers, by his country and by the world.

Another war memorial is taking shape in New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada. The stature of Sergeant Gander will stand on guard for the brave men and women who sacrificed in the Battle of Hong Kong, December, 1941. May their lives and bravery be remembered always.


Entry filed under: Blogroll, Dog Culture. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. In Remembrance of A Canadian Hero « muttnutt blog  |  December 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    […] also read an updated version of this post.

  • 2. tweetypie  |  December 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    great story hero gander !!

  • 3. Aliana  |  December 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Salute to Sergeant Gander and all the unknown heroes who protected Hong Kong then. You will always be remembered. Peace.

  • 4. WritersthatChat  |  December 30, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I really enjoyed reading this…I have a lot of WWI mementos on my memory tree every holiday…this is such a wonderful story…thanks for sharing…francy Dickinson

  • 5. The Dogs of War « lifebydmagdalene  |  February 4, 2012 at 12:02 am

    […] Sergeant Gander – A Canadian War Dog Hero […]

  • 6. Mary  |  December 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Dogs are more Loyal than humans.
    Sergeant Gander, Thanks for your bravery for saving other Brave Heroes in Hong Kong.
    Two Thumbs Up! i i 🙂 🙂 🙂


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