We've just received news, enclosed with our Christmas card from my husband Paul's cousin, of a famous black Liverpudlian German Shepherd dog, Jet, hero of the World War II London Blitz.
Although this is a grainy old family photo added by Iada, you can see the alert, eager-to-get- going look like the photographs of Villain in One Dog and His Cop. The family link is somewhat tenuous, though. The Christmas card is from Paul's cousin on his father's side. As a child in Liverpool, she would visit her aunt on her mother's side who was housekeeper to Mrs Cleaver, a well-known breeder of German Shepherd dogs, so she got to know the dogs very well.
After training, Jet was sent to London where she located many casualties buried in the rubble left by the Blitz for which she was awarded the PDSA's Dickin Medal for gallantry on 12th January 1945.
“For being responsible for the rescue of persons trapped under blitzed buildings while serving with the Civil Defence Services of London.”
To follow: the story of how Jet was called out of retirement in 1947 to help in a major disaster
It's almost two years since I published In Our Fathers' Footsteps (see under BOOKS). My latest book, One Dog and His Cop, about my cousin's police dog,was published 30 November this year (see under BOOKS).