My older friend kept a scrapbook when she was a girl. A few years ago when she was looking through it she found this article, "Training England's Dogs of War," clipped from some unknown and undated newspaper, probably published nearly 70 years ago. She was pleased to let me make copies. I retyped the words for legibility. (If you'd like to read the article or see a larger view of the photos, click on the images to enlarge them, then click again to make them even larger.)
The article describes the work of British Col. Ernest H. Richardson and his work in training Airedales to aid in civil defense and to go to the aid of injured citizens.
Of Airedales he says, "The best dog of all for the purpose of home defense work is the Airedale. He stands well off the ground and is strong, speedy and immensely keen. His intelligence makes him easily trained and readily teachable."
He said he has his older dogs help teach the younger dogs. "My two best teachers are Topsy and Nancy, who have been with me for years. They teach good manners to the young ones. And they repress any tendency toward barking. The younger dogs copy the older ones and learn their tricks quickly." He details his training method on the page above.
He also trained Airedales for messenger work in conjunction with carrier pigeons, for sentry duty, rescue work, as watch dogs, and as airplane spotters.
Airedales are such noble dogs! I was pleased to learn this bit of their history in the words of the person who trained the Airedales.