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Horrie the War Dog  : The Story of Australia's Most Famous War Dog - Roland Perry

Horrie the War Dog

The Story of Australia's Most Famous War Dog

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Published: 1st November 2013
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In the harsh Libyan desert in the middle of the second world war, Private Jim Moody, a signaller with the First Australian Machine Gun Battalion, found a starving puppy on a sand dune. Moody called the dog Horrie. Much more than a mascot, Horrie's exceptional hearing picked up the whine of enemy aircraft two minutes before his human counterparts and repeatedly saved the lives of the thousand-strong contingent. The little Egyptian Terrier's ritual of sitting, barking, then dashing for the trenches, had the gunners running for cover before their camp was strafed and bombed.

Where Moody went, Horrie went too, through the battle zones of the Middle East and far beyond. As the Japanese forces began their assault in Asia Moody and his soldier mates joined the fight, but not before they had smuggled Horrie onto a troop ship and a harrowing journey back to Australia where they thought their little friend would be safe. The war over, Moody brought Horrie out of hiding to raise money for the Red Cross, and the brave little dog's story became widely known. When quarantine officers pounced and demanded that the dog be put down there was a huge public outcry. Horrie had saved a thousand lives. How could a cruel bureaucracy heartlessly kill him? But defying the authorities would mean gaol for Moody and certain death for Horrie. Was Horrie, the gunner's hero, condemned to die or could Moody devise a scheme to save him?

In the finest ANZAC tradition, Horrie the War Dog is a story of intrigue and illusion, and of sacrifice, courage and loyalty. Best-selling author, Roland Perry, tells this remarkable true story for the first time.

About the Author

Roland Perry is one of Australia's best known authors. He has written 28 books, many of them going on to become bestsellers, including Bill the Bastard, Bradman's Invincibles, The Changi Brownlow, The Australian Light Horse and Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Horrie the War Dog
 
2.9

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

60%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to read (6)
  • Deserves multiple readings (5)
  • Engaging characters (5)
  • Informative (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older readers (5)
    • Gift (4)
    • Travel reading (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Casual reader (3), Everyday reader (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Manipulated title

    I was struck by the similarity of title, to one I read many years ago, "Horrie the Wog-Dog" which is no doubt now a censored title. The Australian troops take...Read complete review

    I was struck by the similarity of title, to one I read many years ago, "Horrie the Wog-Dog" which is no doubt now a censored title. The Australian troops take to Horrie as their mascot, and are amply repaid by his alertness and loyalty. It offers a story of an unusually magnetic canine character retold and his handlers. Well worth several readings.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Questions for Perry

    Perry has written a book that tells a strikingly similar story to a story told in a book "Horrie the Wog Dog" by Ion Idriess published in 1945 by Angus and...Read complete review

    Perry has written a book that tells a strikingly similar story to a story told in a book "Horrie the Wog Dog" by Ion Idriess published in 1945 by Angus and Robertson. Perry has some serious questions to answer.

    For a start, Perry's book is predicated on a false assertion. On the back of the book and on the publisher's website it is claimed that Perry has written the story "for the first time" but Ms. Sue Hines, a representative of Allen and Unwin admitted knowledge of the earlier book when she wrote, "We agree that there have been various books (just two, by the way) published about Jim Moody and Horrie including the Idriess book, and our own recent publication by Roland Perry". While Ms. Hines explicitly denied plagiarism or a breach of copyright, some straight answers are needed to some difficult questions (such as why this lie was necessary).

    The background facts are that sometime between April 1942 and June 1943 Jim Moody (then an Australian soldier then serving in New Guinea) wrote an 18 000 word manuscript about the adventures of a little white dog he called Horrie the Wog Dog. Moodie found Horrie in Egypt while Moodie was serving with the AIF in the Middle East. He smuggled the little dog through Greece, Crete, Palestine, Syria and back to Australia. In June 1943 Moody submitted his manuscript to Angus and Robertson.

    Walter Cousins of Angus and Robertson gave the manuscript to Idriess who was by then an already famous author with twenty-nine books to his credit. In June 1943 Idriess wrote to Moody suggesting a collaboration to "make a book" of Moody's manuscript. Moody went off to fight in New Guinea but the two men corresponded as the book took shape. By March 1945 galley proofs were complete and the book, "Horrie the Wog Dog" was published later that year. In collaboration with Moody, Idriess told Horrie's story and this raises another serious question for Perry to answer.

    From where did Perry get the material for his book? It is likely that Perry had access to one of the few copies of "Corporal Horrie" by Moody's daughter Leonie but this limited publication was mainly comprised of Moody's original manuscript sent to Angus and Robertson.

    The events in Perry's version of Horrie's story are too similar to Moody's manuscript and the subsequent book by Ion Idriess. There are well over eighty indisputable events from "Horrie the Wog Dog" which also appear in Perry's book. For instance, when Idriess told the story of how Moody found Horrie he wrote, "He poked his small nose under rock after rock, striving with might and main to lever up the impossible weight, only to dash away to another rock".

    When Perry addressed the same part of the story he wrote, "Yet he persisted trying to lift stones with his nose to find the disappeared geckos, which were several wriggles ahead of him". This paraphrasing is a bit too close for comfort but the response of Ms. Hines to the issue of these similarities is equivocal.

    She wrote, "There are many versions and retelling of historical events. All are legitimate – each must be allowed its own interpretation of the meaning of those facts. Each book adds to our understanding of a particular historical event." These evasive words fail to address the possible perception by some readers that Perry appears to have represented Idriess' (and Moody's) thoughts and ideas as his own work. Ms. Hines has said there is no plagiarism or breach of copyright but surely there are significant ethical questions for Perry to answer?

    One ethical issue is about giving credit where it is due. According to Ms. Hines, Perry knew about the Moody/Idriess material but he failed to acknowledge its existence. Nowhere in his list of acknowledgements does he mention either Moody's manuscript, Idriess' book (or the other book that mentions Horrie's story: Anthony Hill's "Animal Heroes"). Perry has implicitly denied the existence of Moody's manuscript or the Idriess book.

    This paints a nasty picture, (1) the false claim was made that Perry wrote Horrie's story for the first time, (2) there are too many similarities between Perry's book and the Moody/Idriess material, and (3) Perry did not acknowledge the earlier work.

    Now it might be that Perry got his material from a source other than from the Moody manuscript and the Idriess book but without a more detailed explanation from Perry or his publisher, it is difficult to avoid the perception that Perry referred to both Moody's manuscript and also the subsequent book by Idriess.

    Another significant ethical issue is in Perry's disrespect for Ion Idriess. Idriess wrote and sold more books than Perry ever will. In his time Idriess' name was known throughout Australia and at the peak of his fame it was said that almost every Australian had read an Idriess book. Perry was disrespectful. Perry ignored Idriess' book. He slighted Idriess as an author. And he got it wrong when he incorrectly blamed Idriess for Horrie's seizure by quarantine authorities.

    Ms. Hines was just dismissive. She wrote, "And on the moral side it is no more an abuse of Idriess's (sic) memory than any other retelling of a (sic) historical event is an abuse of any previous writer on the same subject. History belongs to us all." This is just a spurious attempt to downplay Perry's denigration of Idriess.

    But, after all, the question must be asked – who cares? Idriess' book was published nearly seventy years ago and the author himself has been dead for more than thirty years. However, a reader does not need to care specifically about Idriess. All discerning readers would agree that if Perry used earlier published material then he should have acknowledged his sources. In the absence of a detailed explanation it seems as though Perry thought everyone will have forgotten the name of Ion Idriess.

    This was a mistake! If only for the lack of respect shown to one of Australia's most popular authors the publishers should withdraw Perry's book from sale.

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    5.0

    Horrie the War Dog

    By Mal

    from Perth Australia

    About Me Rarely Read

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • A Wonderfull Story Every
    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Every Aussie Should Read
    • Informative
    • Page-Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

        All engaging a real page turner well written going to read more of Ronald Perrys books heart warming a real good read please read great Australian History.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Should be read by all Australians

        By Avid War History reader

        from Denmark, W.A.

        About Me Casual Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Read
        • Engaging characters
        • Informative

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Reference
          • Travel Reading
          • Younger Readers

          Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

          My husband has been fascinated and enthralled to discover this piece of war history previously unknown to him. He is re reading parts and quoting the most stunning information to his family and friends.

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          Horrie the War Dog

          By Eliz.

          from Western Queensland.Australia

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Easy To Read
          • Engaging characters
          • Informative

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers
            • Reference
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

            A little known story that should be told to many

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            Horrie the War Dog

            By Hendo

            from Bungendore NSW

            About Me Casual Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Read

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

              A good easy read

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              Horrie the war dog

              By Jack the russell owner

              from Sydney

              About Me Casual Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Read
              • Engaging characters
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Great For Dog Lovers
                • Older Readers
                • Travel Reading

                Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

                A great story about how a dog saved men.
                Another unsung hero of WW2

                Comment on this review

                 
                1.0

                Moody's daughter

                By Moody's daughter

                from Melbourne

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

                      Factually rubbish, a rehash of the original book published in 1945.

                      Not the first time told nor is it an accurate portrayal of events. These can be checked on the NAA website and service records online. The book is wrongly classified it is fiction at best, exploitation at worst.

                      Comment on this review

                       
                      1.0

                      A Work of Fiction

                      By Truth be told

                      from Victoria

                      Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

                      A work of fiction, check records on the National Achives, Moody was no army hero he was a habitual deserter, having decided he wanted out he concocted excuses and was discharged on psyhchiatric grounds, (never wounded in action). Don Gill faced a Court Martial and on 29/12/44 was sentenced to 9 months in a military prison.
                      Pretty insulting to the rest of the unit who fulfilled their obligations and went on to serve in Malaya and waited their turn to be de-mobbed.

                      Also Melb. Truth newspaper 19 July 1957 reports on the real Moody. A wife basher, a philander who compelled his wife Joan to justifiable leave him. How bazaar to then dedicate a book to her about her 'cruel and brutal husband' to her. Just another ex-journo wanting to make a quid (or movie) out of a tragic life with all its extending repercussions.

                      Why would anyone want to portray him as a hero and restless husband. He exploited Horrie for financial gain. Moody wrote a manuscript on Horrie based on photos not diaries, he submitted it to Angus & Robertson and it became a joint project with Idriess. Even Jim Hewitt described Horrie's adventures as exaggerated.

                      This book of Perry's is a work of fiction not fact.

                      Visit Idriess website for more details on how this story evolved and other works previously written on Horrie, National Archives also a great resource

                      Comment on this review

                       
                      1.0

                      Questions for Perry

                      By Rob

                      from Tingalpa QLD

                      About Me Everyday Reader

                      Pros

                        Cons

                        • Disappointing

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

                          Perry has written a book that tells a strikingly similar story to a story told in a book "Horrie the Wog Dog" by Ion Idriess published in 1945 by Angus and Robertson. Perry has some serious questions to answer.

                          For a start, Perry's book is predicated on a false assertion. On the back of the book and on the publisher's website it is claimed that Perry has written the story "for the first time" but Ms. Sue Hines, a representative of Allen and Unwin admitted knowledge of the earlier book when she wrote, "We agree that there have been various books (just two, by the way) published about Jim Moody and Horrie including the Idriess book, and our own recent publication by Roland Perry". While Ms. Hines explicitly denied plagiarism or a breach of copyright, some straight answers are needed to some difficult questions (such as why this lie was necessary).

                          The background facts are that sometime between April 1942 and June 1943 Jim Moody (then an Australian soldier then serving in New Guinea) wrote an 18 000 word manuscript about the adventures of a little white dog he called Horrie the Wog Dog. Moodie found Horrie in Egypt while Moodie was serving with the AIF in the Middle East. He smuggled the little dog through Greece, Crete, Palestine, Syria and back to Australia. In June 1943 Moody submitted his manuscript to Angus and Robertson.

                          Walter Cousins of Angus and Robertson gave the manuscript to Idriess who was by then an already famous author with twenty-nine books to his credit. In June 1943 Idriess wrote to Moody suggesting a collaboration to "make a book" of Moody's manuscript. Moody went off to fight in New Guinea but the two men corresponded as the book took shape. By March 1945 galley proofs were complete and the book, "Horrie the Wog Dog" was published later that year. In collaboration with Moody, Idriess told Horrie's story and this raises another serious question for Perry to answer.

                          From where did Perry get the material for his book? It is likely that Perry had access to one of the few copies of "Corporal Horrie" by Moody's daughter Leonie but this limited publication was mainly comprised of Moody's original manuscript sent to Angus and Robertson.

                          The events in Perry's version of Horrie's story are too similar to Moody's manuscript and the subsequent book by Ion Idriess. There are well over eighty indisputable events from "Horrie the Wog Dog" which also appear in Perry's book. For instance, when Idriess told the story of how Moody found Horrie he wrote, "He poked his small nose under rock after rock, striving with might and main to lever up the impossible weight, only to dash away to another rock".

                          When Perry addressed the same part of the story he wrote, "Yet he persisted trying to lift stones with his nose to find the disappeared geckos, which were several wriggles ahead of him". This paraphrasing is a bit too close for comfort but the response of Ms. Hines to the issue of these similarities is equivocal.

                          She wrote, "There are many versions and retelling of historical events. All are legitimate – each must be allowed its own interpretation of the meaning of those facts. Each book adds to our understanding of a particular historical event." These evasive words fail to address the possible perception by some readers that Perry appears to have represented Idriess' (and Moody's) thoughts and ideas as his own work. Ms. Hines has said there is no plagiarism or breach of copyright but surely there are significant ethical questions for Perry to answer?

                          One ethical issue is about giving credit where it is due. According to Ms. Hines, Perry knew about the Moody/Idriess material but he failed to acknowledge its existence. Nowhere in his list of acknowledgements does he mention either Moody's manuscript, Idriess' book (or the other book that mentions Horrie's story: Anthony Hill's "Animal Heroes"). Perry has implicitly denied the existence of Moody's manuscript or the Idriess book.

                          This paints a nasty picture, (1) the false claim was made that Perry wrote Horrie's story for the first time, (2) there are too many similarities between Perry's book and the Moody/Idriess material, and (3) Perry did not acknowledge the earlier work.

                          Now it might be that Perry got his material from a source other than from the Moody manuscript and the Idriess book but without a more detailed explanation from Perry or his publisher, it is difficult to avoid the perception that Perry referred to both Moody's manuscript and also the subsequent book by Idriess.

                          Another significant ethical issue is in Perry's disrespect for Ion Idriess. Idriess wrote and sold more books than Perry ever will. In his time Idriess' name was known throughout Australia and at the peak of his fame it was said that almost every Australian had read an Idriess book. Perry was disrespectful. Perry ignored Idriess' book. He slighted Idriess as an author. And he got it wrong when he incorrectly blamed Idriess for Horrie's seizure by quarantine authorities.

                          Ms. Hines was just dismissive. She wrote, "And on the moral side it is no more an abuse of Idriess's (sic) memory than any other retelling of a (sic) historical event is an abuse of any previous writer on the same subject. History belongs to us all." This is just a spurious attempt to downplay Perry's denigration of Idriess.

                          But, after all, the question must be asked – who cares? Idriess' book was published nearly seventy years ago and the author himself has been dead for more than thirty years. However, a reader does not need to care specifically about Idriess. All discerning readers would agree that if Perry used earlier published material then he should have acknowledged his sources. In the absence of a detailed explanation it seems as though Perry thought everyone will have forgotten the name of Ion Idriess.

                          This was a mistake! If only for the lack of respect shown to one of Australia's most popular authors the publishers should withdraw Perry's book from sale.

                          Comment on this review

                           
                          1.0

                          The Title was originally Horrie the Wog

                          By Sal

                          from Tas

                          About Me Bookworm

                          Pros

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

                                .its a copy of a wonderful book which told the story of Horrie beautifully. It was published so close to the end of the warn that the incidents written about were still fresh in readers minds. The author Ion L Idriess was well known and loved for his skill in writing about Australian themes

                                Comment on this review

                                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Manipulated title

                                By Wasper

                                from Adelaide, SA

                                About Me Bookworm

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                                • Easy To Read
                                • Engaging characters
                                • Informative

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Gift
                                  • Older Readers
                                  • Travel Reading
                                  • Younger Readers

                                  Comments about Horrie the War Dog:

                                  I was struck by the similarity of title, to one I read many years ago, "Horrie the Wog-Dog" which is no doubt now a censored title. The Australian troops take to Horrie as their mascot, and are amply repaid by his alertness and loyalty. It offers a story of an unusually magnetic canine character retold and his handlers. Well worth several readings.

                                  Comment on this review

                                  Displaying reviews 1-10

                                  Back to top

                                  ISBN: 9781743317990
                                  ISBN-10: 1743317999
                                  Audience: General
                                  Format: Paperback
                                  Language: English
                                  Number Of Pages: 352
                                  Published: 1st November 2013
                                  Publisher: Allen & Unwin
                                  Dimensions (cm): 20.8 x 13.8  x 2.7
                                  Weight (kg): 0.36