July 24, 2020 4.50 pm This story is over 40 months old

Over 26k people demand racial slur dog’s name is put back on gravestone

They argue history shouldn’t be changed

Over 26,000 people have now signed a petition as the outrage continues over Guy Gibson’s dog’s name, which is a racial slur, being removed from a gravestone at RAF Scampton.

The gravestone paid tribute to a black Labrador mascot of the RAF’s 617 squadron called Ni**er.

Local firm Drapers Memorials were hired to remove and replace the plaque on the gravestone earlier this month, with many angry people saying it is a big part of history that needs reinstated.

Sarah Hobday, whose great uncle was a Dambuster (Sydney Hobday) and part of the crew that breached the Edersee Dam, started a petition which has grown at a rapid pace by the time of publication has 26,022 signatures.

RAF Scampton said that a review of its historical assets is ongoing, with a focus on “not giving prominence to an offensive term that goes against the ethos of the modern Royal Air Force.”

The dog was owned by wing commander Guy Gibson, before it died in 1943 while Gibson was fighting in the Second World War.

The current gravestone will be stored in a safe location while any next steps are considered.

An RAF spokesperson said: “As part of an ongoing review of its historical assets, the RAF have replaced the gravestone of Guy Gibson’s dog at RAF Scampton. The new gravestone tells the story of Guy Gibson’s dog, but the name has been removed.”

On Friday, July 24 the RAF were asked for a response to the petition and about any developments with the situation, but it did not want to make any additional comments at this time.