I guess many people wandering round Pall Mall, Waterloo Place and the Mall in London, miss a memorial to Giro. No doubt they are busy taking photos of all the wonderful historical buildings and monuments, and possibly looking up rather than down. If they do manage to glance to the side as they are wandering around Wellington Place just near a huge column shooting up into the sky with a statue on top, seemingly tiny from the ground, if they do look behind some railings they might just notice a little gravestone with ‘Giro’ engraved upon it.
This the gravestone but not the grave for a little dog, much adored by his owner, who was buried in the back garden of the German embassy, having been electrocuted by chewing through a cable. Giro’s owner was Leopold von Hoesch, German Ambassador to London. Von Hoesch was born in 1881 and was a professional diplomat, first in pairs, and then in London where he moved in 1932 with Giro his pet terrier. Poor Giro met his end in 1934, and so did von Hoesch in 1936. Von Hoesch was a popular man in London’s highest circles, despite being a Nazi, and he had a rather magnificent funeral cortege escorting his body on its last journey back to Germany.
There was building work done on the embassy in the 60’s and Giro’s stone was moved; however, at least more people can see it and find the story of ‘the Nazi dog’!