Nigger's Grave
RAF Scampton, England

The grave of Nigger, a black labrador who was the mascot of the famed 617 Squadron (Dambusters) at RAF base, Scampton. He belonged to Wing Commander Guy P. Gibson, VC, DSO, DFC, RAF and was killed while Gibson was on a mission. A Christmas card left by a visitor is seen above the grave.

Close-up of the headstone.
(Photos courtesy of Peter Woodward)
© 2008 Peter Woodward all rights reserved

July 19, 2020

This gravestone has succumbed to the historical cleansing which is gripping the world at the present time. A new stone was installed with the dog's name erased from history, an image of the dog has been added in its place. The dog's name has also been changed in a film about the Dam Busters as well. I cannot see what is accomplished by this "cleansing" of the historical record, but tyrants and despots throughout history have used this technique to erase people, events and ideas which threaten their position.

It is a shortsighted and declining society that fails to protect it's history, whether good or bad, from those who would be the masters of thoughts and ideas. You can learn nothing from history when there is nothing left of history. Keep in mind that those who wish to rewrite history in their image, can write you out of it when you no longer suit their desires. You can vanish into the Night and Fog (Nacht und Nebel) when they decide you are a threat to their state and their power. It has been done before and it will be done again. It continues to this day in so-called third world countries and of course in all communist countries, all run by dictators, thugs and tyrants with names like Putin, Xi, Kim, Maduro, Nguesso, Mayardit, Ortega, Nkurunziza, Aliyev, Lukashenko, Khamenei and so many others.

I don't agree that the dog's name is racist, insensitive perhaps, but not racist. The term racist has been used and misused to a point that it is next to meaningless. Everything now is considered racist, which is absurd. Nevertheless just to say that this gravestone is racist is still no reason to erase it. It was the dog's name and nothing will ever change that, therefore it should have been left alone.

Michael W. Pocock

Page published Aug. 13, 2009