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Explosive Detection Dog and Handler Sculpture dedication

Thursday 8 October

2.30 pm

Poppy’s Café forecourt, free

The Australian War Memorial will be dedicating a unique memorial to acknowledge and commemorate the service and sacrifice of the Explosive Detection Dogs lost in service to Australia.

The dedication will provide an opportunity to commemorate the role and contribution of these dogs and their handlers to Australia’s involvement in conflicts since the Vietnam War through to Afghanistan. 

This ceremony will dedicate a unique sculpture by artist Ewen Coates, of an Explosive Detection Dog and handler. The sculpture will highlight the role of and unique bond between Explosive Detection Dogs and their handlers, listing the names of the dogs lost in service, together with the name of Sapper Darren Smith, who was killed in Afghanistan alongside his dog Herbie.

The Army Explosive Detection Dog team will be in attendance at the dedication, and members of the general public are welcome to attend the ceremony with their dogs. Please note: the Memorial encourages responsible pet ownership, and visitors should bring the necessary equipment (e.g. leads, muzzles etc.) to keep their pet social and safe, and to keep the grounds clean for all to enjoy.

Please note: Poppy's cafe will be closed to the public from 12.30pm for the duration of the event.

Last Post Ceremony

4.55 pm

Commemorative Area, free

This special dedication event will be marked by a Last Post Ceremony at which the School of Military Engineering and their Explosive Detection Dogs will line the Pool of Reflection in honour of Sapper Darren Smith, 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, and his Explosive Detection Dog, Herbie. Both Smith and Herbie were killed in action in Afghanistan in June 2010.

Please note that pets other than the Explosive Detection Dogs will not be permitted in the Commemorative Area.

The Last Post Ceremony is streamed daily online at