Rifleman Khan and Lance Corporal Jimmy Muldoon
Khan was a German Shepherd dog, who lived with the Railton family in Surrey. Trained to find explosives, Khan worked with Corporal Muldoon of the 6th Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Corporal Muldoon and Rifleman Khan were with the 6th Battalion during the attempt to free Walcheren Island and South Beveland from Nazi invaders. As they made their way across to the muddy bank, their boat came under heavy fire and capsized. Khan made for the shore, but Muldoon could not swim and struggled in the water, amid the falling shells. As Muldoon sank from view, Rifleman Khan returned to rescue his friend, dragging him to the shore.
For this act, Rifleman Khan was awarded the Dickin medal on 27th March 1944.The Dickin medal is awarded to animals displaying gallantry and devotion to duty. It is commonly known as the animals’ Victoria Cross.
After the war, Khan was returned to the Railton family. However, he was reunited with his handler when they led the parade of Dickin medal winners in the National Dog Tournament. When Harry Railton saw the bond between the handler and his dog, he knew he could not separate the friends again and gave Khan into Muldoon’s permanent care.
Rifleman Khan and Lance Corporal Jimmy Muldoon spent their remaining years together in Strathaven, far away from the mud and falling shells of Walcheren.