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Thread: Gibson's dog

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    Default Gibson's dog


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    Alex Smart (17th July 2020)

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    George Orwell will be laughing in his grave!!!!!!!!!!!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    And the aforementioned canine is, quite possibly, turning in his - wondering if the world has gone barking mad.................

    I can understand that it might be sensible to relocate a historical artifact to protect it, but I would suggest that any work done to alter it would, in reality, be an act of vandalism. I hope we all understand that we must stamp out racism, but I question whether trying to hide how things used to be is the best way of reaching that goal? I, for one, would rather that we don't hide the truth, admit our past errors, apologize for them, and strive to make sure that they are not perpetuated.

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    Alex Smart (17th July 2020)

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    Andrew (et al),
    A very fine second para, with which I entirely agree (particularly - as a trained archaeologist - the bit about 'historical vandalism'!). It makes one wonder if the perpetrator of this act and/or its announcer have ever actually worn HMQs uniform?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    I have to say I can see both sides of this. Imagine being a person of colour visiting the site and having that word leaping out at you...it would be a slap in the face I am sure. Would it really be such an act of vandalism to reword the gravestone "here lies W/C Gibson's beloved dog, killed...etc etc" ? Believe me, I am no PC warrior, but it does seem a small gesture to make, at little cost. Its not like doing so would wipe the dog's name from history...a sign at the site could even give the dog's real name, but in context.
    I remember when I was just a boy, my Dad and I were cracking nuts around the fireplace at Xmas, tossing the shells in the fire and eating the various meats. He held up a Brazil nut and and said "you wont believe what we called these when I was young...." Apparently everyone in his circle called these nuts by the same name W/C Gibson called his dog. He lowered his voice when he spoke the word, like it was shameful to speak. And it was. What he didn't say was "I still insist on calling them that, because it is true to history".
    Like I said, I can see both sides, but thought I would plays devils advocate and offer my thoughts.
    All the best, Clint
    Last edited by ClintCoffey; 18th July 2020 at 20:44.

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    Jagan (18th July 2020)

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    Dear Clint,
    I think you have put that very clearly and fairly. Yes, we should be aware of the feelings of today's society which is far more multicultural than it was in the 1940's. We should also be aware that Gibson named his dog using the Latin for black. Among the Grammar and Public Schoolboys of the RAF, the use of a Latin word would not have been unusual. If he had called the dog 'Blackie', would that be seen as racist? No one has yet complained that the founder of the Aryan Race called his dog Blondie! Unfortunately there are now moves for Captain Pugwash to rename his ship.
    Best wishes
    James

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    All a Bit of a Dogs dinner !

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    I am sorry but I find this thread very disappointing... it brings this board into disrepute.

    I find it very disappointing that posts are made on this board which are nothing to do with research and which seem to assume that other members will agree with the sentiments that are expressed. Well I do not! I accept that the world has gone mad in re-writing history but it is easy to see that the RAF would find it difficult to have certain words appear on a public memorial. The dog’s name was not the Latin word for black it was a racist American word which was intended to denigrate black people whose relationship with white people was based on their slavery or was based on the resentment among white people of the emancipation of black people as slaves.

    As far as I am concerned as the proud owner of a 6 year old black Labrador that is wrong.

    Steve

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    Was the existing gravestone original after the dog was killed and placed there by Gibson himself or was it erected sometime after Gibson left the station? If the former, then the situation is tricky. However if the later and it was placed there after Gibson left the station, then quite frankly I think it should simply be replaced with a stone marking the grave of Guy Gibson's dog.

    My father, RCAF 419 Squadron during WWII, told me at a very early age to never, ever, under any circumstances to utter that word. It invokes so many terrible and hurtful memories for peoples of colour. As such, I have no problem with the removal of the stone for something less hurtful. The name of Gibson's dog is not important to the story.

    I have read the biography of Guy Gibson by Richard Morris. There are aspects of Guy Gibson's treatment of other aircrew that make me think Hmmm! His heroism is unquestioned, however Morris suggests he had his flaws.

    Edit: Actually, after consideration of what Steve writes below, I agree, the name should be removed from the gravestone. But as I mentioned I would be interested to know the chronology of placement of the stone.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 18th July 2020 at 22:20. Reason: Change of opinon.

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    Default Re: Gibson's dog

    Steve,

    Whilst I agree with the sentiments you have expressed, I don't agree with your statement that such a discussion brings the board into disrepute.
    All too often these days, a differing POV is held up as being detrimental to the character of the individual who made it, or the platform that hosted it. Healthy debate and different perspectives are the basis of the democracy that service personnel fought / fight to uphold. No matter how passionate your feelings may be, for or against the argument, freedom of speech should be defended with vigour, whenever, or wherever, it is under threat.

    All the best

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Alex Smart (22nd July 2020)

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