The Dog Called Nigger

The Dog Called Nigger

July 2020

Nigger was a male black Labrador retriever belonging to Wing Commander Guy Gibson of the Royal Air Force, and the mascot of No. 617 Squadron. Nigger is also known for unfortunately dying on the same day as the famous "Dam Busters" raid, when he was hit by a car on the 16th of May 1943. He was buried at midnight as Gibson was leading the raid.

On the 17th of July 2020 we learnt that Nigger's name had been removed from his grave stone at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. Sky News reported on this bullshit in their article Dambusters dog's memorial replaced by RAF to remove its racist name.

Conservative former minister Sir Edward Leigh, whose constituency includes Scampton, wrote to the RAF station commander saying he was concerned about history being rewritten. He was spot on when he said:

"... I am, however, very fearful of our ability today to erase or rewrite history. The past needs to be explained, taught about, and learned from - not rewritten. ..."

The non-sense with Nigger's name is extended to the 1955 film adaptation, The Dam Busters. Since the 1990s the dog's name has either been removed or replaced with the name Trigger.


Footnote

What I love about the referred to Sky News article is how the author can't even bring herself to use the name Nigger. She writes;

"... Wing Commander Guy Gibson used his dog's name - the n-word - as a code phrase to confirm which German dams ..."

She spends the entire article dancing around the dog's name of Nigger without actually saying what the dog's name was. Imagine a young child reading this article, left wondering what the dog was called. Would that child grow up and live their entire life by referring to the dog as "dog". I'm confident they would head over to Wikipedia or elsewhere and discover the dog was called Nigger. Thus, what is achieved by not referring to the dog as it was named? Nothing apart from participating in some modern-day bullshit rewriting and cancelling of history.