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- ARTHUR KLEIN
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- 06 May 2005
LIVING WITH THE GERMANS — The not so good…….
The Commandant’s dog. Hereby hangs a tale. The Commandant lived up the Grange, I can’t think of the name, it’s a hotel now, Mansell’s got it, Grange Lodge, he lived there, and he had this little golden spaniel. Now, when he was drunk, and he used to get drunk frequently, he used to beat it something wicked. There were several ladies used to have to go and clean for the Germans in there, they didn’t like it. So they approached my grandfather who lived in the Castel and said ‘If the Commandant’s dog disappears would you look after it’.
One day these two ladies, who shall be nameless, turned up with this golden spaniel. Goodness knows what we fed it on, but it existed, anyway, and he and I became great friends. I used to take him across the fields to Saumarez Park for a run round there, and that was fine. And then one day I was just playing by the lake there, with the dog, and this German, big German car came driving round the Park. We had just been chasing the moorhens, because there were quite a lot there. And this car stops and these German officers got out with their guns, they were going to shoot moorhens or whatever was around, and lo and behold I realized, because I had seen him at one of our prize givings, that one of them was the Commandant himself. I have never moved so fast. There was a hedge on that side of Saumarez Park about 6ft thick and I just took the dog and we went straight through the hedge. I wasn’t very big at that time, and not very fat, but quite amazing I went straight through. I kept away. I was very careful after that, if I saw a German car coming, anywhere, we would disappear. But unfortunately for the dog, I mean food got very short at the end of the occupation, and my grandfather used to take him all the time down the road to his stables or the fields where the cows were. The German soldiers at Lilyvale were always very friendly with the dog and then one day he went inside and he didn’t come out, so he finished up as dog soup. But if they’d known what they’d done, they’d eaten the Commandants’ dog, they’d have all been shot!
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