The canary war hero

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:29 pm on 24 April 2018
Bobby the littlest war hero

Bobby the littlest war hero Photo: Supplied

War historian Glyn Harper tells the story of a tiny canary who helped a band of tunnellers survive the First World War.

The story is in the form of a children's book and it IS based on a real-life canary that survived several incidents to save the lives of many Allied men.

Natural gases and gases given off as a result of explosions could ignite, poison or asphyxiate. The major problem gas for tunnellers was carbon monoxide, given off by all projectiles from shells to rifle bullets.

With the use of experienced miners, came the use of "miners friends" in the form of mice and later small birds, such as canaries.

Glyn also did a lot of research into the experiences of the former miners who laid explosives in tunnels under German trenches at Arras and other locations.