Corgis during World War II"During the last war many people were interested to see photographs in most of the leading newspapers of the crew of a British warship and the dog they had captured from a German submarine. The dog was the ship's mascot, and the photos showed quite clearly that it was a Corgi, and a very good-looking one too. It is a pity its origin was never established, for there were very few Corgis in Germany and only three people were attempting to breed them. Among those was Frau von Ribbentrop, who had a dog and a bitch from the Rozavel kennels before the outbreak of war, and it seems possible that the Corgi had come from her kennel, and may have been presented to the submarine crews."
Quote in Thelma Gray's book: The Welsh Corgi, Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire Types, 3rd revised edition (1947?)
Royal corgi breeder's link to Goering
The Royal Family's first corgi, Dookie, was given to the Queen Mother in 1933 by a breeder with connections to Nazi Germany. Thelma Gray supplied dogs to Luftwaffe commander Hermann Goering and Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi ambassador to Britain.
Dookie, officially named Rozavel Golden Eagle, shared a bloodline with von Ribbentrop's two corgis, which came from Mrs. Gay's "Rozavel" kennels in Surrey.
She revealed she had supplied dogs to senior Nazis in an article for Dog World magazine in 1940 about a rumour that all dogs in Germany except those working in the war would be killed.
She wrote: "There are four dogs only which I feel have reasonable chances of survival... two chows which I sold to Field Marshal Goering and his secretary, and the two corgis belonging to Herr von Ribbentrop... I cannot help thinking that they will manage to wangle things so that their pets go unharmed."
The article was uncovered by authors Clare and Christy Campbell during research for their book on war pets, Bonzo's War. Animals Under Fire 1939-1945. Available from Amazon.