Hero war dog and the Scottish soldier he saved honoured with new statue

The incredible relationship between a hero war dog and the Scottish soldier he saved from drowning has been honoured with a bronze statue.

The statue of Khan, a German Shepherd, and his handler Jimmy Muldoon now proudly stands in Strathaven in South Lanarkshire, where the soldier lived with his dog after the war.

The work, by sculptor John McKenna, has been unveiled almost 77 years to the day that Khan pulled L/Cpl Muldoon from the sea after his landing craft was bombed by German forces at Walcheren Island, The Netherlands, during the Battle of the Sheldt in November 1944.

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The soldier’s son, Jim Muldoon, who is known locally as Jim Khan after his late father’s dog, said: “I have a great deal to be grateful to Khan for.

The statue of Khan and Lance Corporal Jimmy Muldoon unveiled in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, at the weekend. PIC: Les Hoggan.

"There is no doubt he saved my father’s life as he could not swim and was being pulled under water by his pack. I guess I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Khan, and I am so pleased the good folk of Strathaven have decided to honour him for his heroism.”

The statue is the latest honour for Khan, who was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal – known as the Animal’s Victoria Cross – and the title ‘Rifleman Khan’ by the 6th Battalion Cameronians, with whom he served.

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On the night L/Cpl Muldoon was rescued, Khan had already made it to shore when he heard the soldier’s cries for help and he leapt back into the sea and swam 200 metres to reach him. The dog dragged his handler back through the water to shore where he lay beside his handler, both exhausted.

After the war, Khan returned to his family in England, but after seeing the connection he had with the soldier, it was agreed the dog could move to Scotland.

Mr McKenna said: “It’s an incredible story and I am really honoured to have been part of the effort to have Khan and Jimmy immortalised.”

Councillor Margaret Cooper, who led the fundraising for the statue, said: “People in Strathaven are really proud to have been home to Jimmy and Khan and we now have a new landmark that will tell their story for many decades to come.”

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