Premium

Barrie the war dog: how a veteran and a Raqqa stray saved each other’s lives

Seán and Barrie in Essex
Seán and Barrie in Essex Credit: Jeff Gilbert/Telegraph

Seán Laidlaw initially thought he’d heard an injured child. Somewhere under the rubble of an Isil-bombed building in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the sound of mewling escaped. Laidlaw, a bomb disposal expert and veteran of two tours of Afghanistan with the Royal Engineers, was with a small team of other soldiers in February 2018, clearing thousands of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) hidden in the city by so-called Islamic State. 

“We had just finished in one compound, so me and another guy were walking back to get tea when we heard really loud screaming. I got on the radio to our security team, who were watching out in case anything happened, but they said all was quiet,” Laidlaw, 31, says....

To continue reading this article

Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles

  • Unlimited access to Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Save 25% with an annual subscription

Just £75 per year

 

Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Only subscribers have unlimited access to Premium articles.
Register for free to continue reading this article
Or unlock all Premium articles.
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week