A Riverstone Pet

The Windsor and Richmond Gazette – 19th April 1944

An Army dog that saw 12 months service in New Guinea, and is now the proud possession of a Riverstone owner, is still doing ‘his bit’ by collecting for various charities. The dog recently received prominent mention in a Sydney newspaper, with the following comment

A Dalmatian which was honourably discharged from the Army after 12 months service in New Guinea, guarding ammunition dumps, was one of the entrants in the Kennel Club’s Easter Dog Show at the Lady Gowrie Home.

The dog with the Army title of Desmond No. 116, is owned by Mr Roy Habgood of Riverstone. Eastern Command Headquarters told Mr Habgood – “ The dog has done valuable work, and it is our duty to warn you that the nature of the work in which it has been engaged has made it more vicious than when we received it. We can give no guarantee that the dog will not attack people.”

Mr Habgood said that Des who is three year old is a wonderful watch dog, and will not attack people unless they are carrying a stick. Des, attached with a novel collection box, attracted a good deal of attention at the recent Aquatic Carnival at Windsor.


We checked the War Memorial photo database, but could not find a photo of Desmond, however we came across the following photo of an Army dog, with an entertaining caption to go with it.

ID number: 072699
Description: Higitura, New Guinea. 1944-04-27. VX88782 Sergeant R M Keam, official photographer, military history section, attached to New Guinea force, with a camp mascot. The Dalmatian, who joined an infantry unit as a pup, served through the Kokoda campaign and now holds the rank of Warrant Officer I, after once receiving a reduction to the rank of private for barking on an inopportune occasion.

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