The most extraordinary tales of heroic feats and mateship come out of every conflict and none more so than the heart-warming, astonishing tale of Horrie and his mates, the men of the Signals group of the 2nd AIF 1st Machine Gun Battalion, known as the “Rebels”, stationed in North Africa during World War 2.
This is their story; one that will warm the heart, bring a tear to the eye and make you laugh as you realise that the human, and doggie, sprit does and will prevail in spite of some terrible odds.
Horrie, a small terrier style pup, was left abandoned in the dessert and found by despatch riders Jim Moody and Don Gill out on a training run on their Norton’s. They gave the pup a drink of water and ended up smuggling him back into camp.
And so the incredible adventures of Horrie and his mates began. It was only a short time into his joining the army camp the men realised he was a very intelligent little dog, appearing to almost understand what was being talked about and having lightning fast reflexes.
His character soon came out and he became the mascot of the group, wining over the hearts of the war toughened men.
He developed an uncanny ability to be able to hear the planes of the German Air force some considerable time before any other means could pick them up. This skill of Horrie’s allowed the troops time to prepared for the attack, saving many, many lives, time and time again.
The story of Horrie also gives a wonderful insight to life as it was for the men of the AIF stationed in the desserts, the camaraderie and frustrations of everyday life.
The story does not end with Horrie and his war exploits, the real challenge came when it was time to return home to Australia and what to do about Horrie, the war hero and inducted member of the Signals division, being allowed entrance into Australia.
The effect of bureaucracy prevalent then and now and the long term effects it had on Horrie’s best mate Jim Moody and the men of the Rebels, was far reaching and is still a discussion point among the Veterans today.
|Publisher||Allen & Unwin|