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Thursday, May 11, 2006

What secret is buried here?

When I was in Waterloo Place for the Sultan's Elephant, I took the opportunity of taking a photo of this odd gravestone, in a glazed cabinet set behind a wall and some railings in Carlton House Terrace. I can assure you you will never see it if you don't go looking for it, but it echoes a key point in London's history.

It is where, in 1934, the then German Ambassadors dog, Giro, was buried: "ein treuer Begleiter: a true companion". In the embers of the Weimar days, when this ambassador died in 1935, he was given a full diplomatic funeral with a 19-gun salute in St James' Park. Picture the scene, with a coffin borne by the Grenadier Guards carring the body past the embassy staff giving the Nazi salute. Some more history is here.

I don't know if it still is, but this obscure piece of London trivia used to be part of the London cabbie's Knowledge. Any cabbie out there care to comment?

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Comments on "What secret is buried here?"


Blogger Deetsa said ... (07:17) : 

*whistles* That sure is an interesting little chunk of local history! Thanks for pointing out things like this. It's things to note down for my future visit to London sometime in the future.



Blogger Brian DubĂ© said ... (12:22) : 

That is an amazing story, and also that the English are so kind as to allow such a public funeral of the German diplomat's dog with such honors while they were being attacked...or right before they were about to be attacked, it's like something from Lord of the Rings, in a way...


Blogger Jean said ... (15:32) : 

It pays to have diplomat status!


Blogger Natalie said ... (17:38) : 

What a neat story. Lucky dog. I bet he was treated very well.


Blogger Liz Feliz said ... (17:56) : 

I wonder how he lived!!!


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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile