Memorial details

Memorial type
Sculptured / Cast figure
East Kilbride
Second World War (1939-1945), Animal Memorials
  • Unveiled
    Date: 07 November 2021
    Attended by: Lance Corporal Muldoon's son, Jim, unveiled the memorial, at a ceremony attended by representatives of the armed forces, and local dignitaries and residents.
Not lost
WM Reference

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Current location

Common Green
East Kilbride
ML10 6AQ

OS Grid Ref: NS 70171 44512
Denomination: Undefined

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Bronze sculptures on a stone base, unveiled in November 2021. Rifleman Khan was a German Shepherd dog who rescued his master (Lance Corporal Jimmy Muldoon of Strathaven, Cameronians) from icy waters during a WW2 air raid on the Dutch island of Walcheren in November 1944. The dog was awarded the Dickin medal.
Rifleman Khan/ For bravery in battle during the Second World War, Khan the/ German Shepherd dog was awarded the PDSA Medal./ the Victoria Cross for animals, on 27th March 1945./ A family pet on loan to the War Office, Khan was assigned to/ the Sixth Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), where/ Lance Corporal James Muldoon became his handler./ On the night of Nov 2nd 1944, during the Battle of the Scheldt,/ off the Dutch island of Walcheren (Oct-Nov 1944), the landing/ assault craft Khan and Muldoon were travelling in, came under heavy fire./ The boat capsized and the soldiers and Khan were thrown into the icy seawater./ Khan swam to the shore, searching for his master. But Muldoon could not swim under/ the weight of his kit and was sinking in the muddy waters./ Under heavy shelling, Khan swam 200 yards back to pull his master from the sea,/ dragging him through mud until they reached solid ground./ Khan and Muldoon collapsed, both exhausted but both had survived and got through the/ war to return home./ 'Nemo Me Impune Lacessit'/ Rifleman Khan and Lance Corporal Jimmy Muldoon/ spent their remaining years together in Strathaven./ This sculpture of Khan and Muldoon was/ commissioned by Councillor Margaret Cooper/ Designed and sculpted by John McKenna 2021 (At top-left of the plaque is a depiction of the front of the PDSA Medal, inscribed: 'For Gallantry/ WE ALSO/ SERVE'. At bottom-left of the plaque is a depiction of the reverse of the medal, inscribed: 'RFN KHAN/ WAR DOG 147/ 6TH BTN CAMERONIANS (S.R.)/ WALCHEREN/ NOVEMBER 1944/ A.F.M.C. 1019/ NO. 19').
Inscription legible?
Names on memorial
Khan, War Dog
Muldoon, James
See details for all 2 names
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
    Total names on memorial: 2
    Served and returned: 2
    Died: 0
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Rank, forename, surname, Battalion, Regiment (and regimental number of Khan)
    Order of information: Undefined
  • Animal Memorials
    Total names on memorial: 1
    Served and returned: 1
    Died: 0
    Exact count: yes
    Information shown: Undefined
    Order of information: Undefined
  • Figures
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Bronze
  • Base
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Stone
  • Plaque
    Measurements: Undefined
    Materials: Bronze

Comments: A prominent local businessman very generously put up about half of the money needed; the rest came from local donations and fundraising. (One of the donations was from a fund from renewable energy that is run by South Lanarkshire Council).
Memorial: £60,000

Trust fund/Scholarship
Purpose: Unknown or N/A
Details: £60,000 collected from around the world
  • The PDSA's online Dickin Medal Roll of Honour entry re Khan reads: 'Rifleman Khan – Alsatian 147. 6th Battalion Cameronians (SR) Date of Award: 27 March 1945 “For rescuing L/Cpl. Muldoon from drowning under heavy shell fire at the assault of Walcheren, November 1944, while serving with the 6th Cameronians (SR).”
  • BBC News website report on 8/11/2021: 'WW2 hero dog celebrated with statue in Strathaven. A memorial to a dog who saved his handler from drowning during World War Two has been unveiled in South Lanarkshire. The life-size bronze statue of Khan, a German Shepherd, and L/Cpl Jimmy Muldoon has been erected on Strathaven Common Green. Khan pulled the soldier from the sea off the Netherlands after German forces bombed their landing craft in 1944. His son Jim Muldoon said his father would have been "over the moon". The rescue happened during the Battle of the Scheldt, part of the retaking of Europe by allied forces. As they approached Walcheren Island, bombs started to rain down and several landing craft were hit. Mr Muldoon said: "The dog managed to get to shore, but there was no handler with it. "He could hear the handler in the water - my father. So he ran down and jumped back in, got him by the scruff of the neck and pulled him out. I think it was about 200yds [182m] to shore." Unit members who witnessed the event later said Khan then lay on the shore beside his handler, both exhausted. Khan, who had been "conscripted" into the British Army, served out the war and was returned home to the Railton family in Tolworth, Surrey. Members of the soldier's regiment called for Khan's bravery to be celebrated. The dog was awarded the "animal's Victoria Cross" for bravery, the PDSA Dickin Medal, and L/Cpl Muldoon went to the ceremony. "People saw there was that much affection between the two of them that they decided he would take it home," Mr Muldoon said. In Strathaven Khan was treated like a local hero, especially in the butchers shop where he was given free meat every week.

This record comprises all information held by IWM’s War Memorials Register for this memorial. Where we hold a names list for the memorial, this information will be displayed on the memorial record. Please check back as we are adding more names to the database.

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