War Dog Training School – Matley Woods, Lyndhurst

The dog kennels in Matley Woods. Training dogs at the War Dog's Training School at Lyndhurst. 26 April 1919. Topfoto.co.uk EU058654

In 1918 the War Dog Training School at Shoeburyness was moved to Matley Ridge, Lyndhurst in the New Forest, taking over the site of the Trench Mortar School that had recently closed.  The facility housed around 200 dogs which were trained to carry messages under battle conditions.

The school stayed there until May 1919 when it was finally moved to Bulford on Salisbury Plains.

Today it is still possible to find the echoes so some of these trenches on the open heathland close to Matley. This area of Whitemoor came under Training Area A, which was in use from 1914 for the 7th Division and then 1915 for the Southern Command Bombing School. It is unknown whether these trenches were dug specifically for the War Dog Training School in 1918 or they moved in a took over existing trenches already constructed in this area.

To find out more about the roles, trainings and development of war dogs the book to read is: British war dogs, their training and psychology by Lt. Col. Edwin Hautonville Richardson, first published in 1920.

The book is available online and as a digital download from the Internet Archive here: archive.org/details/britishwardogsth00richrich

Date: 1918

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