1. ITV Report

Statue for 'Crommie' the war time dog who eased stress facing spies

'Crommie' the spy dog honoured in Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A special ceremony's been held at Godmanchester near Huntingdon to honour the work of a work of a very special wartime dog.

Crommie, a cocker spaniel, is credited with hugely helping the morale of spies about to go behind enemy lines.

Now his efforts have been rewarded with a posthumous commendation - a his own statue.

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A special ceremony took place in Godmanchester. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's a marvellous opportunity to bring to life, a story which none of us knew until about five years ago. This was a story which was shrouded in secrecy, it was released by the War Office after the 70 year rule of the official secrets act."

– David Shaw, Son of Crommie's owner
Crommie's owner was Sqd Ldr Cautley Nasmyth Shaw. Credit: Family photo

His story was uncovered by local historian Roger Leivers.

He found notes written by Shaw's deputy, Bruce Bonzi in the Imperial War Museum.

"It was the story of this incredible dog, it wasn't his dog, but he said he'd never seen a dog that had such incredible connection with humans and could sense the stress and anxiety in them and was able to calm them without any training at all, he just did it. It's just an amazing story."

– Roger Leivers, Historian.
Original picture of Crommie the cocker spaniel. Credit: Family photo

Roger informed the animal charity PDSA which presents awards to worthy creatures.

It decided Crommie was one of the first post traumatic stress dogs and deserved a posthumous commendation.

"He was a forerunner really to what we know now as therapy dogs and we get therapy in all shapes and sizes who do all sorts of amazing things. So we hear a lot of PTSD support dogs, emotional support dogs and obviously Crommie was doing that job without even knowing it really."

– Amy Dickin, PDSA
A special ceremony took place to unveil the statue. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A statue of Crommie now graces Hall Farm, a dog so popular his name was even used as a vital codeword by spies.

Agents would say ' love to Crommie' which meant they had got to the ground in France safely.