US War Dog Association | National Headquarters

Hambone Jr. and the Soldiers of the 47th. Infantry

 

Here lies Hambone Jr.

 

Faithful Friend

 

of the

 

47th. Infantry Regt.

 

9th. Div. U S Army

 

May 1944

 

Simon Newbery, Vet. UK emailed me with this photo and the following information:

 

This  grave marker of a WWII War Dog (Hambone Jr.)  is near Simon’s parents home in  Alresford, Winchester, Hants, England along side a famous River walk called “The Dean.” This town was used  for the  D-Day invasion.

 

By posting this photo and information, I am hoping someone who reads this will be able to further enlighten us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any further information, please email us at: canines@uswardogs.org

 


 

Mystery Solved

 


 

Story by Vincent Z. Whaley, http://vzwhaley.home.att.net

 

Reverence for military mascot show memories of WWII still live

 

 

 

“If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.” — from the poem “The Soldier” by     Rupert Brooke

By Vincent Z. Whaley
Johnson City Press Staff Writer

(Published Thursday, Aug. 17, 1995)

ALRESFORD, England — Although Hambone Jr. never participated in battle, he     was granted a privilege many soldiers tried not to think about during World     War II.

He was buried in his homeland.

Hambone was an infantry regiment’s canine mascot, and his duty was to run     alongside the soldiers, provide entertainment and keep their thoughts away     from battle and pain and death.

During a recent trip to England to retrace the wartime steps of my late     grandfather, Starlin H. Hughes, I came across the dog’s grave in the quaint     village of Alresford.

This is where my grandfather, who served with the 47th “Raiders”     Infantry Division, 9th U.S. Infantry Division, had been stationed prior to     the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, in 1944.

Hambone’s grave, alongside a weathered path, was just one example of how     America is remembered in a country that was once bombed nightly. For     example: In Winchester, about eight miles from Alresford, I stopped an     elderly lady treading the cobblestone street and asked for directions to     the bus stop for Alresford. She was going to her dressmaker’s shop to have     her late husband’s Royal World War II medals sewn to a shield. After kindly     displaying the gallant war achievements, she directed me to the bus stop —     just across the street.

I met a gray-haired gentleman in an Alresford pub, the Swan Hotel — one of     several pubs in which GIs of the 47th frequented during the war. After     consuming a mid-morning pint of “bitter” beer, he escorted me     through the town square in search of the building where the 47th had been     headquartered.

We arrived at a white and navy building with a small, plaster plaque attached to its outer wall. The inscription states:     “THIS HOUSE WAS THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE 47TH. INFANTRY REGT., 9TH     DIVISION, UNITED STATES ARMY, 1943 TO D-DAY JUNE 1944.”

The man then explained the legend of Hambone Jr. and supplied directions to     his grave, which is located just beyond the village along a rocky footpath beside the Alresford River.

A thatch-layered cottage outlined with pink and violet flowers sits along     the river. A cobblestone bridge possessing arches that sink beneath the     calm brook complements the fairy-tale dwelling. The grave of Hambone Jr. is     not far from the moss-covered riverbank.

Along the opposite side of the footpath, the tombstone rests among thick     vegetation. Weather-beaten and etched in algae, the monument clearly     states, “HERE LIES HAMBONE JR., FAITHFUL FRIEND OF THE 47TH INFANTRY     REGT., 9TH DIV., U.S. ARMY, MAY 1944.”

Countless war memorials can be found across England during this final year     of World War II’s 50th anniversary. None, however, seem as classic as the     one dedicated to a military mascot known as Hambone Jr.