Horrie wearing his Corporal's uniform
Ikingi Maryut, Egypt
|Occupation||Unofficial mascot of the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion.|
|Employer||Royal Australian Infantry|
|Years active||1941 - 1942|
The dog became the unofficial mascot of the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion, traveling with it throughout Egypt, Greece, Crete, Palestine and Syria then to Australia in 1942. Horrie was promoted to honorary corporal, as well as being assigned the service number 'EX1' (Number 1 Egyptian soldier).
Horrie was described by his owner as being intelligent and easily trained. He acted as a guard dog, giving early warning of enemy aircraft. He survived the sinking of the troop carrier, the Costa Rica, while being evacuated from Greece. He was also wounded by a bomb splinter in Crete. In 1942, Moody was repatriated to Australia, but due to stringent quarantine laws, was not allowed to take Horrie with him. Moody decided to smuggle the dog home in a canvas bag, which was reinforced with wooden slats so that the dog could breathe. In 1945, Moody was ordered by quarantine officials to surrender Horrie to be put down. Instead, Moody substituted another dog from the pound, who was shot in place of Horrie. Horrie lived out his natural life near Corryong, in rural Victoria. This claim was made by a woman who had a liaison over several weeks with Jim Moody in 1946, after the destruction took place. She was an 18 year old cadet journalist. No person has ever come forward with verifiable evidence that the substitution occurred. Amongst the personal papers left by Jim Moody were several letters addressed to him personally. His father Henry Osland Moody wrote several letters to Jim Moody all of which refute the substitution story and warn Jim Moody not to do anything 'rash' and that time would heal. He also laments Jim Moody trusting the assurances given to him that if he handed the dog in he would not be 'needlessly destoyed'.
There was a Corryong connection for Jim Moody. Maxwell Ward Hutton (RAAF) who grew up in South Yarra and also trained as a wool classer moved to Corryong in 1940 at the age of 27 when his parents purchased the Court House Hotel licence. Jim Moody's personal papers also contain a letter from Myra Dyring of Cudgewa (Max Hutton's fiance) expressing her sadness that the discussed visit of 'Horrie" to Corryong never happened. The personal papers contained a 'Stock Movement Permit' form only available from Quarantine Stations. On the back of this form was Jim Moody's handwritten copying of the telegram by 'Wardle' authorising the destruction of the dog. Jim Moody was reported in the 'Truth' newspaper as having gone to the quarantine station after being advised that his dog had been destroyed and demanded to know under what authority his dog had been destroyed and was shown the telegram. (Available on the National Archives files). It is rather unusual for someone to take this action if there was a substituted animal and also to keep this handwritten document for the rest of their life.
Jim Moody's x-wives (1935-1947), (1951-1957)and (1963-1968) did not confirm the story, nor did other close relatives of Moody's.
The substitution story was printed in the book Animal Heroes by Anthony Hill, there was no material submitted in this book to factually verify the substitution. The material available from the estate of Jim Moody does not support the claim made in this book.
There is a letter written by Sgt. Roy Brooker reproduced in the book "Corporal Horrie" available at the State Library of Queensland which expresses Brooker's deep horror at the destruction of Horrie. Brooker is identified as the 'friend' in the photograph of Jim Moody on his way to Quarantine published in the "Truth" newspaper 18 March 1945. Brooker is also possibly the person who took the photo of Jim Moody visiting Horrie at the Quarantine Station the Sunday before the dog was destroyed reproduced in Anthony Hill's book. Brooker was the only member of the 'rebels' discharged and in Sydney at the time the dog was handed over on March 9, 1945. A personal letter of condolence on the death of Horrie was written to Jim Moody by Captain James Hewitt, Moody's platoon commander in the Middle East. The letter is interesting in that it says that the dogs exploits in the Middle East were exaggerated somewhat but nevertheless he was a "bonny little dog". Moody worked for Hewitt after the war at Tattyoon in 1951 and 52 in order to gain experience on the land required to apply for a soldier settlement block as he had no previous experience having undertaken his training as a Woolclasser at Yarra Falls Spinning Mills in Abbotsford in Melbourne with training at the Working Mens College (now RMIT in Melbourne). At the time he worked for Hewitt his dog was Impshi 2. Service records of the 'rebels' are available on the National Archives. Other members were still serving in the AIF and stationed in Petrie in Qld. Don Gill (whose mothers'address Moody and Brooker were staying at) was serving 9 months in detention at the 4th Army Detention Barracks. Brian Featherstone was also in Queensland on a No. 17 Signallers course. The original Idriess book was based on a manuscript written by Moody not diaries. The manuscript was submitted by Jim Moody to Walter Cousins, the publisher for Angus and Robertson at the time. Idriess wrote to Moody in June 1943 asking a series of questions to add 'meat' to the story and to get the manuscript from 16,000 words to 70,000. There are inaccuracies in the names mentioned in the original book making it difficult to also verify events in the original book.
Jim Moody was given another dog shortly after he lost Horrie. Her name was Impshi 2 and he had her for several years and she is fondly remembered by members of Jim's family and appears with her pups in several family photos with Jim's brother Bob and his children. The pups are pure bred West Highland and not sired by Horrie.
Horrie is the subject of a book published in 1948 by Australian author Ion Idriess titled Horrie the wog-dog: with the A.I.F. in Egypt, Greece, Crete and Palestine. It was written using material from the diary of Jim Moody. The Idress book was not written from diaries. Jim Moody wrote a manuscript which he submitted to Angus & Robertson (A & R). In one of his personnel letters he explained how he selected some 50 photos and tried to link them into a story. Walter Cousins passed this manuscript to Idriess, who then sent a series of over 60 questions to Moody to add meat to the story and get more material for the book. Hence some of the soldiers names in Moody's handwritten responses to Idriess were not quite accurate. Some of the dogs exploits were also noted as exaggerated in a letter to Moody from Captain James Hewitt who was portrayed in the book. Claiming the book was based on diaries would have added a sense of authenticity to the book and aided the marketing campaign as did exposing the dog to the media at the time, which ultimately led to his seizure and destruction by quarantine officials. Horrie is also mentioned in The long carry: a history of the 2/1 Australian Machine Gun Battalion 1939-46 by Philip Hocking and published in 1997.
- Article: "Officially Murdered" March 25, 1945; Truth newspaper. —National Archives of Australia; Reference: A11984, V213
- Destruction of dog, Horrie
- Legislation – Commonwealth – Breaches ‘Horrie the Wog Dog’
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