Duda, the mascot dog

Duda, the mascot dog

Duda perches on a shovel held by Private E.C. Wheeler.

Duda, 19 Battalion

Duda was rescued at Ed Duda, Libya, during an artillery barrage. She was a small dog and eager to please, as befitted her status as prisoner of war. The troops called her the 'happiest prisoner of war in the Middle East'. She usually travelled in the cook's truck when the unit moved, and on cold desert nights she had the habit of waiting till her friends were settled and then sneaking in between them to sleep and keep warm.

Duda came to New Zealand with Cyril Muir on the Taupo furlough draft in 1944. Muir smuggled her aboard the ship in his duffle bag and managed to keep her hidden even after they transferred to a United States ship in Bombay. The American sailors knew there was a dog aboard and carried out spot searches, but with the help of a group of Polish refugees Duda managed to evade capture.

Once in New Zealand, she accompanied Muir home to Dunedin where she lived with him and his wife until she died from poisoning. It was a sad end to an affectionate life.


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Kerrin Muir

Posted: 25 Apr 2008

I was brought up with the name of this beloved dog, her name was puchi, when I came along. When Duda(puchi), was poisened , My Father, Cyril cried his heart out. Apparently Duda took a dislike to the neighbour and used to poop on his doorstep every morning. My parents always blamed the neighbour for poisening Duda. Duda had experienced many battles with the 19th Batalion. I can remember my Father telling stories of how he smuggeled Duda home. Duda would lay in Cyril's kit bag, and when Dad said ,"Quiet" Duda went as quiet as a mouse.She was one smart dog.