Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Captain Loxley's Little Dog

Some years ago, when I was researching the loss of a First World War battleship - HMS Formidable - I visited the Abbotsbury Sub-tropical Gardens in Dorset to see if I could find the grave of an airdale terried named Bruce. This poor animal stayed on the bridge with its master, Captain Arthur Noel Loxley RN, as the ship sank in the English Channel. Bruce's body was washed up on the beach and buried in the grounds of the garden. I found his headstone among the graves of a number of pets. For more on his story, click here and here.

The writing on the headstone records:
Airedale Terrier
who stood till the end
Captain Loxley RN
on the bridge of
HMS Formidable
when sunk by a torpedo
30 miles from Portland
January 1st 1915

Bruce's body was washed up
below Abbotsbury Castle


  1. Poor Bruce ! Not a kind end for a dog, but at least he was faithful to his captain and ship...

    Found a little bit about the Formidable here :

    Apparently there is info in the Lyme Regis Museum... which I have been to and enjoyed, but I don't recall this story. Lyme Regis was where John Fowles lived, and is the setting for his book The French Lieutenant's Woman.