10TH JUNE 1881


Few people who travel on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway know what a distinguished character has a free pass on every branch of the line, of which for several years he has taken daily advantage. It is between two and three years ago that a fox terrier, big in bone, and not over bred, jumped into a train that was leaving Brighton for Horsham, and settled himself in the guard's carriage. Little notice was taken of him at first, but after a time he began to be a person of great interest. No one knew where he came from, or whom he belonged; but every day he was ready for an early start in  an early train. sometimes he went to Portsmouth, sometimes to Horsham, sometimes only to nearer stations' but most remarkable part of his arrangements was that he always got to Brighton in time to go by the last train to go by the last train to Lewes, where he always slept, leaving again by the first train in the morning. When the friend from whom the friend whom I first heard this story (and who vouches for the truth of it) last heard of Jack, he still continued this practice, and always spent the night at Lewes. About a year and a half ago the London, Brighton, and South Coast Company began to look upon him as one of their regular servants, and presented him with a collar bearing this inscription, "Jack L. B. and S. C. Railway Company." My. friend told me that one occasion, someone months ago, he traced Jack's movements on one especially day, and probably it was a good sample of many other. He arrived from Brighton by a train reaching Steyning at 10.50; there he got out for a minute, went on by the same train to Henfield. Here he left the train and went to a public house not far from the station, where a biscuit was given to him, and, after a little walk, took another train to West Grinstead, where he spent the afternoon, returning to Brighton to Brighton in time for the last train to Lewes. He was rather fond of the Portsmouth line, but never, I believe, has come so far as London. He generally takes his place on or by the guard's whee,. and sits looking out of the window. It would be very interesting to know in what the fascination of this perpetual railway travelling consists. It certainly shows an immense amount of instinct and observation, and the regularity and punctuality of Jack's daily life are a lesson to many a two legged traveller. Whether he considered himself sub-guard, or director, or general overseer, no one can tell, but there is, it seems, an idea of duty in his movements; what he has to do (or thinks he has to do) he does faithfully, and so far is a telling example to his fellow travellers on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway.   

A correspondent writes to the Standard:- 

"I was much amused with your account of this dog. I have known him four years, and can corroborate every word in the paragraph with one exception, and that is that Jack knows London Bridge and Victoria stations as well as I do, and especially the refreshment rooms. He has private apartments at Croydon, Three Bridges, Tunbridge Wells, and Eastbourne. The year before last Jack got into a North Western train by mistake, changed at Willesden, and went to Edinburgh with a guard he knew. He also goes to Dieppe occasionally. when he travelled with me he did not object riding first class, but it is seldom he will travel with anyone out of uniform."    

"I have read with interest about 'jack' of Lewes. will you allow me to mention some details of the sagacity of a London railway dog - 'Fan,' of the Edgware Road Station? For ten years this animal travelled continually on a railway engine between that station and Hammersmith, occasionally getting off at an intermediate station, crossing the line, and returning by the next train. Notwithstanding various lines go through Edgware Road, she never went on a Mansion House, Earl's Court, or any other than a Hammersmith train, and was equally careful on returning to go no further east than her own place. She is buried near the north east end of Edgware Road platform under an evergreen, on a small piece of ground specially set apart, and above, on a mural tablet, is the following:-

" 'In Memory of
Poor FAN.
Died May 8, 1876
For ten years at the Drivers' call. 
Fan by many,
Regretted by.' "


Courtesy of Mick Symes

There have been many dogs over the years that have been associated with the railways, and 
one such dog was well known dog was “Jack,” who was well known all over the L. B. & S. C. Railway.


August 1879

“Jack” the railway dog. Whilst waiting at the Horsham station on Friday night for the 9.20 up train, our attention was attracted by a little rough dog which scampered up the platform and leaped up on to the engine. On making home enquiries of the guard in charge go the trains to the meaning of this eccentric behaviour on the part of the annual, we were informed that he was known as “Jack” the railway dog, and was in  the habit of constantly travelling on the Brighton line from Lewes via Brighton and Horsham to London, and vice versagenerally travelling on the engine in fine weather, and in wet weather hob-mobbing with the guards in their breaks. nobody knows to whom he belongs, and he takes the food given him by the railwaymen’s a matter of course as recognised for his company. Jack has thoroughly warmed himself into the affections of the engine drivers and guards, both of whom take the greatest interest in their canine passenger; and should Jack ever fail to put in an appearance on the starting of the trains usually patronised by him, many are the enquiries, “ here’s our little dog, Jack.”  

December 1880 

“Bob”, the once well known fireman’s dog, has a rival in “Jack” the railway dog. This 
sagacious animal passes his time in railway trains, and is well known at Brighton, Lewes, 
Hastings, London Bridge, and Peckham Rye. He travels with the guard, and take his repose at whatever terminus the train he happens to be in at night times arrives at. His taste lies 
peculiarly in the direction of all things appertaining to railways, as he will take no notice of 
any one not wearing a railway uniform. 

A South London guard on one occasion took him home. Jack went peacefully enough, but 
directly the man changed his clothes, and put on the garments of everyday life, Jack began to be uneasy, and at length bolted back to Peckham Rye. Jack is quite unoriginal in his way.  

21 January 1882

Accident to “Jack,” the Railway Dog. On Friday morning a serious accident happened to 
“Jack,” the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway dog. He was crossing the up main 
line at Norwood Junction station when the Brighton mail train came along, and before the 
animal could reach the platform the engine caught him, and crushed his foot. A local 
veterinary surgeon was at once summoned by the officials, and the dog’s injuries having been attended to, he was placed in the care of a guard of an Eastbourne goods trains, by whom he was handed over to his master. Mr. Moore, the station master at Lewes. The accident has since necessitated the amputation of one of the dog’s legs, a surgeon very successfully performing the operation while the animal was under the influence of chloroform.

No difficulty is anticipated as to Jack’s future locomotion on three legs, although the radius of his operations will be necessarily more limited. Hitherto it has been from Paris to Scotland. 

The last previous appearance of Jack in Lewes was when had just returned from a wedding at Berwick, and he arrived gaily beckoned with ribbons in honour of the event.



Railway Jack. -- This well known dog has with accident which seemed likely at time to terminate his career. He had been absent from his home, Lewes station, about a fortnight, till brought back on Friday last with his fore leg crushed. It appears that Jack was at Norwood Junction late on the previous evening, and crossed the metals just as a fast train was running through. He missed his hold in jumping on the opposite platform, and fell under the engine. A surgeon has successfully amputated the limb close to the shoulder, the operation being performed while the animal was under the influence of chloroform. Although properly muzzled and every precaution taken to prevent Jack rubbing off his bandages, he succeeded in doing so during the temporary absence of his settlement for a few. The effect of this was rat severe secondary haemorrhage set in, and but for prompt attention the dog would have been dead in a few minutes. After this occurrence Jack was closely watched. No difficulty is anticipated as to Jack's future locomotion on three legs, although the radius of his operations will be necessary more limited. Hitherto it has been from Paris to Scotland. The last previous appearance of Jack in Lewes was when he had just returned from a wedding at Berwick, and arrived gaily bedecked with ribbons of honour of the event.



On old friend on the Brighton, dog "Jack," like many of his railway companions, has fallen a victim to the danger of the line. Crossing the line in front of a through express, and missing his hold as he leaped to the platform, the  engine and train passed over one of his legs. The damaged limb has been successfully amputated, and poor "Jack" is on a fair way to recover. In future he will probably be known as "three legged Jack," unless Mr. Stroudley or some other clever mechanical engineer can invent for him an artificial limb, as in the case of men, will perform some of the functions of the lost natural limb. Every kindness will be shown this four footed friend of the railways, though his decreased capacity for roving may induce him to appreciate more his home and master at Lewes.


Jack the Railway Dog 

July 18th 1885


The remains of the unfortunate young fellow Page (who died from injuries sustained in an 
accident on the goods station), were interred in St. John’s churchyard on Sunday afternoon. 
The funeral was attended by a large number of railway employees as well as of members of 
Court Lewes Castle A.O.F., of which the deceased was a member. “Railway Jack” was also 
present, wearing a crape collar. 

The famous L. B. & S. C. Railway dog “Jack” has just reached Eastbourne station by one of 
the afternoon trains unexpectedly, and without guidance, otherwise than wonderful animal 
instinct to join in the procession of the funeral of Inspector Bryant, an official who had the 
honour of a large public burial. The noted dog just reached Eastbourne in time, found its way to the funeral, and solemnly followed the corpse to the cemetery, to the astonishment of everybody. The dog also joined the procession from the cemetery back again. 

Railway Jack, the canine celebrity has just met with an accident which seemed likely to 
terminate his eccentric career. He had been absent from his home, Lewes Station, about a 
fortnight till brought back with his left foreleg crushed. Jack was at Norwood Junction late on the previous evening, and crossed the metals just as fast train was running through. He missed his hold in jumping on to the opposite platform, and fell under the engine of the approaching train. Jack’s left fore foot was completely crushed, and the radius servers fractured. The Norwood station master at once took him to a surgeon, who bound up the dog’s legal the same time expressing an opinion that the limb must either amputated or the animal killed. Mr. Moore, station superintendent at Lewes, was at once communicated with and the dog sent home. On arrival Jack was at once taken to Mr Stock, veterinary surgeon at Lewes, and, with the assistance of Mr. J.P. Braden, surgeon, he very successfully amputated the limb close to the shoulder, The operation was performed while the dog was under the influence of chloroform.  

At a quarter past five their Royal Highnesses got back to station, where, at the especial quest of the Princess, Lady Brassey presented to her the famous Railway Jack,” who had been sent on to Eastbourne from his home in the station master’s office at Lewes early in the day. The Princess, who had heard a great deal about the dog, was very glad to have this opportunity of seeing him, and she took away with her two photographs, one representing him seated up on a trunk before he lost his foreleg, the other taken since the accident, which has compelled him to a more sedentary existence.

November 1890

A famous dog, which had more than once had the honour of presentation to Royalty, died on Monday at the house of his master, Mr. F.G. Moore, Mayfield Sussex. Mr. Moore was 
formerly stationmaster at Lewes, and his dog. “Railway Jack,” was known far and wide as a 
traveller. He began by taking the train to Brighton and Newhaven, and then extended his 
journey to London, Dover, and Canterbury, and after went as far afield as Exeter, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, but always returned to Lewes. 

Once, at Eastbourne, the late Lady Brassey presented “Jack” to the Prince and Princess of 
Wales, and he was introduced to Prince and Princess of Saxe Weimar at Cowes. He was a 
great favourite everywhere, had three fine collars given him and a silver medal. “Jack” was 
nearly thirteen when he  ended his notable career.  




The  famous dog, which has had more than one honour of presentation to royalty, died on Monday week, at the house of his master, F.g. Moore, Mayfield, Sussex. Mr. Moore was formerly station master at Lewes, and his dog, "Railway Jack," was known far and wide as a traveller. Once at Eastbourne, the late Lady Brassey presented "Jack" to the Prince and Princess of Wales, and he was introduced to Prince and Princess Edward of Sage-Weimar at Cowes.



15TH JULY 1881


A passenger guard on the Brighton Railway has written the general office of the society suggesting the propriety of placing a collar on the neck of the dog "Jack," so well known on that line, calling attention to the Orphan Fund of the society, and that donations sent to 306, City Road, would be thankfully received. Since then, Mrs. Knight, the wife of the general manager of the line, has had a collar made to ornament Jack's shoulders and head, bearing the inscription, "I am Jack," and mentioning the name of the donor of the new adornment of the sagacious creature. Since then Mr. Climpson, the guard, has suggested that a rival to Jack should be trained, and be also ornamented with a collar, bearing some such inscription as following:- "I am Fred Evans (A.S.R.S. General Secretary), the Railwayman's dog. I live at 306, City Road, E.C., where my masters will thankfully receive donations for the orphan children of railway servants killed in the execution of their duties." The idea is an excellent one, and would do credit to the great Barnum's ingenuity in advertising. If the kind manager of the Brighton line raises no objections, we think that practical effect might be given to our friendly guard's suggestion. The one doubt we have is as to the proposed name to be given to Jack's rival. The General Secretary might object to being sometimes confounded with his namesake. Possibly, too, the dog would object to bearing the General Secretary's name, if sometimes he came in for expressions of ill-will intended for Mr. Evans, but inflicted on his canine namesake in default of ability or opportunity to inflict it on the man. The idea, however, deserves careful consideration in the interest of the Orphan Fund.  

* Mr. John Climpson


26TH AUGUST 1881

Mr. Climpson informs us that he has succeeded in obtaining a young colley dog, to be here after trained and employed as the dumb advocate of the society's Orphan Fund. The future collector is as yet but a puppy. He is decanted from parent of high degree - that is, if wishing first class prizes entitle dogs to such a definition - and good things are expected of him. At present the pup is unnamed; but on his arrival at the general offices  he will be christened "Fred" with all due solemnity. Afterwards he will be introduced to all the friends of the Orphan Funds who visit City Road, or can be met with in the vicinity of certain railway stations, and we hope that by the time his puppyhood has merged into doghood he will have become a well known and useful member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants if "Fred" is well trained and of good disposition, he has a pleasant and very useful career before him. Some of our readers will shortly be on the lookout for "The Railwaymen's Dog. 




We are glad to inform our readers that old railway servant has carefully selected a Colley bred dog, and presented it to the Society as a helper in collecting for the Orphan Fund. "Fred" is his name, and his home is at 306, City Road. His duties, which are already commenced, are to visit all railway termini in London, and advertise, by mean of a collar round his neck, the claims of the orphan children of the men killed on duty. The collar will shortly be provided, and will beat the following inscription:- "I am Fred, the railway dog of England, and travelling agent for the orphans of railwaymen who are killed on duty. My office is at 306, City Road, London, where my subscriptions will be thankfully received and duly acknowledged." 
We hope that all railwaymen who meet with "Fred" will treat hime kindly, and if they cannot offer him a meal, they might always offer him "a drink." They can also bring "Fred" to the attention of the cause. "Fred" is as yet a youngster, only three months old, but has already travelled in Essex, Surrey, and Sussex, and succeeded in making many friends. As already stated, his home is at 306, City Road, E.C. Any railway servant who can arrange to call there for him, and take him for a day to any of the stations, or arrange for him performing a journey by train, will be doing a great service just now when "Fred" is in training. of course, it is excepted that any friend so acting will undertake to see the puppy returned home. The latest addition to the collectors for the Orphan Fund was duly christened on Monday morning, and takes very kindly to his name. We would just warn our friends that "Fred" is full of play, and just now delights in impressing the cloth of railway uniforms with his sharp, needle like teeth. Where he fancies corduroy as much as he does cloth remains to be proved. He is, however, mist docile and affectionate, and his love for railwaymen will be at once shown where any of the men leave their food or drink within reach when "Fred" rambles into any guard's or porter's room. When one undertakes to be the guest of another, it is usually understood that both are friends. Young "Fred" is ready; aye, and most anxious to become the guest of his mates on any railway in the kingdom. May we for the little orphans say, "If you love us, love our dog"? It is sincerely hoped that no objection will be raised by any higher officials to "Fred's" perambulations, and that he will be nowhere regarded as a trespasser.




A passenger guard on the Brighton line, and an old member, conceived the idea of training a dog to go around the stations with a collar on advertising the claims of the Orphan Fund. He proposed to obtain one for the purpose. The Executive agreed to try his proposal, and he has since purchased a valuable Colley pup and presented it to the society. The puppy is named "Fred," the railway dog of England. he is as yet too young to go about himself, but in two journeys on a southern railway in company with a guard he raised nearly £3 for the fund. "Fred" has come down to make your acquaintance. He is the latest addition to the society's official staff.

Collecting books and boxes are not in use so numerously as could be wished.



What has become of "Fred?" has been occasionally asked during the past five weeks. The youthful foot footed collector for the Orphan Fund is undergoing some little training near Newhaven where at the same time he is being "doctored" for a train accident sustained a few weeks since. The latest bulletin from his doctor says that "Fred" has nearly recovered from the accident, but exhibits symptoms of the canine measles, or distemper. When that infantine trouble is passed "Fred" will resume his duty as a collector, not of tickets and make up lost time. "Fred is getting a big boy now," and has attained to twenty four weeks ago. When full grown he will be well able to take care of himself on his journeys, and a creditable specimen of the genuine Colley breed. He is very affectionate, fond of railwaymen themselves, but more fond of the victuals sometimes found in their overcoats and mess rooms.   



We regret to announce the premature death of dog "Fred." The loss is a great one to the Orphan Fund, as "Fred" had already Brough in over £12 for the fund, though laid up during the past five months. The kindly guard who presented "Fred" to the society is determined to obtain another canine collector for the Orphan Fund. Every possible attention and kindness was shown to "Fred" during his illness by his trainer, who is a respected official of the Brighton Line.



We are pleased to be able to announce that a successor to Dog Fred, whose days were so sadly ended, has now bee provided. he is undergoing a carful training, and in a short time will be ready to continue the work of collecting for the Orphan Fund, so well begun by his predecessor. Let us hope that he may be more fortunate, and live some years to carry out the work to which he has been devoted. 


17TH MARCH 1882

The dog collectors for the Orphan Fund, respectively "Fred" and "Fred the Second," have a successor on the way from Scotland. "Fred the Third" is a full grown black and white collie, of amiable temper and affectionate disposition. He has survived the infantile afflictions that proved fatal to his predecessors, and we heartily welcome him to what we trust will be a long career of usefulness.  


24TH MARCH 1882


The unfortunate dog friends of the orphans who died in youth, after much service, have a successor in a noble Scotch collie named "Help." "Help" is a fine specimen of "next to man, man's most faithful friend." The society has become possessed of him through the kindness of several friends. Mr. R.S. Moss, of the firm of Messrs. James S. virtue, took the initiative on seeing how downcast was Mr. J. Climpson, the Brighton guard (who presented the two former dogs to the Orphan Fund) at the loss of "Fred the Second." Mr. Moss volunteered his help in obtaining another collie, and on mentioning the matter to Mr. Isbister, the editor of the Sunday Magazine, the latter gentleman took an immediate interest in the matter, and wrote to his friend the Rev. Dr. Macleod, the editor of Good Words. In time the venerable doctor was struck with the good purpose for which a dog was required, and made inquiries among friends and through his daughter in the sheep districts of Pebble. In the result Mr. Wm. Riddell, of Dawyk, Stobo, very generously proffered his good dog "Help" as a present to the Orphan Fund. In a letter addressed to Mr. Evans, the donor touchingly alludes to his canine companion, and unknowingly shows the gift to be no ordinary one, for "Help" is a companion to him and the playfellow of his children. Mr. Riddell's letter is as follows:-

"I have now much pleasure in presenting to your excellent society my collie dog 'Help.' This has hitherto been his name, and it seems quite a suitable one for his new duties, but you can change it to 'Fred' or not as you think best. He is a genuine collie -- the very fact-smile of Robert Burns's Luath.

'His honest sonsie bows'nt face,
Aye gat him friends in ilka place.
His breast was white, his towzie back, 
Weel clad in coat of glossy black;
His gangue tail wi' upward curl,
Hung o'ver his hurdies wi a swirl.'

He is a gentle creature; my children take all manner of liberties with him, and are only reconciled to parting with their playfellow by the assurance that 'Help' is going to work for the welfare of little fatherless bairnies. I hope he will be very successful in his mission."

Every right hearted railwaymen will, we are assured, feel thankful to Mr. Riddell and to his children for a gift which has surely cost the childlike hearts of the latter many a pang of sorrow in parting with so dear and faithful a friend. When, then, they see "Help," and remember that his children parted with him that he might help to get bread for other children who have lost their bread winners -- that he is the children's gift to the orphan children -- they will regard the dog with kindness, and be gentle to him. His mission is a blessed one, and we believe "Help" will find a corner of the society will look on "Help" as more than an ordinary dumb creature, In his dumb way he will be a co-worker with them in appealing to help for the orphans, and entitled to their care and affection. It is Mr. Evans's intention to take "Help" with him to the several towns he is advertised to address meetings at. Railwaymen may look out to make the acquaintance of their new friend.


 Help the "Noble Railway Dog" 

A faithful and clever animal formerly known to many passenger on the London and  Brighton the tidal train between London Bridge and Newhaven for the Dieppe steam boats.

This photo was taken from the book tittle is 50 years of Railway Trade Unionism, 

the story of the N.U.R. published in c1920


4TH APRIL 1882

"Help," the dog collector, is established as a favourite with the children in households where The Railway Review is read. One friend writes to say that "When little Hattie and little May heard their father read about 'Help' from The Railway Review, they questioned him as to what a dog could want with money. When told that 'Help' wanted money for the fatherless children of railwaymen, they both declared that they would save all their pence for 'Help.' The good resolution of the little maidens will, we fear, he tested when the tempting sweets and toys in shop windows catch their eyes, and some of the pence promised to 'Help' will then probably go in another direction. Yet if Hattie and May occasionally think of 'Help's' mission, and are followed by other little girls and boys who have pleasant homes, a great deal can be done in the course of the year. Perhaps some fathers and mothers among our readers will encourage their children in making tiny sacrifices for other children who have no fathers, and thus assist "Help" to be the great help to bairpies which his former friends hope he will be.   


16TH JUNE 1882

Dog "Help" has done remarkable well on the occasion of his first visit to France. From another part of our impression it will it will been seen that the sum he has collected is a considerable one, and augurs well for his future usefulness to the society. The letter of  the Rev. Daniel G. Compton, which accompanies of donation of 10s., and is to be found in another column, is another proof of the good work "Help" is doing. This week he has been photographed, and those who desire to have by them a faithful presentment of this canine worker for the orphans of railwaymen, will shortly have opportunity of doing so. 

The first railway dog can be traced back to 1881, he was called “Fred” and collected 
money for the  Orphan Fund” of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 
Unfortunately Fred had a ver

This famous dog, a pure Scotch Collie was a gentle and beautiful creature. He was 
recognised as the “Railway Dog of England,” and was a most successful commercial 
traveller on behalf of the Railway Servants Orphan Fund.

During his life he collected £1004. (1882 -1891). Mr. John Climpson, a Brighton passenger guard of the evening tidal boat train from London Bridge to Newhaven on the London Brighton and South Coast Railway for close on forty years, conceived the idea of training a dog for collecting purpose, and to carry an innovation for money to be given by the the passengers and others in aid of the Orphan Fund. “Help” was supplied through the agency of the Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, by the assistance of Mr. W. Riddell, of Hailes, Haddington, procured a suitable dog for the service; indeed, the animal was a gift from Mr. Riddell, and Help was admirably suited for the work.

After being trained by Mr. John Climpson, “Help travelled extensively from 1882 until 1891 throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and twice crossed the channel to France.

He carried a handsome silver collar, bearing a handsome silver Medal endorsed “I am Help the railway dog of England, and travelling agent for the orphans railwaymen who are killed on duty” plus “My office is at 55, Colebrook Row,  London, where subscriptions will be thankfully received and duly acknowledged,” to which interested persons could send donations. 


Above is the rear of an Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants (A.S.R.S.) fob, which features the “Railway Dog 

This fob/badge is extremely rare and is over 140 years old.



Help is reproduced from a capital lithograph executed by the Newcastle artist, 

Mr. Wilson Hepple



Dog "Help" has been photographed. He looks admirable in a picture. Thos who would like to have a large cabinet size picture of the faithful and handsome creature should apply to Mr. Evans, 306, city Road, London, E.C., enclosing 2s. 3d. in stamps. It is intended to have the canine collector for the Orphan Fund painted by a plate will be engraved, and copied struck off and sold at the price of 1s. each. e are advised that "Help" anxiously awaits in invitation to travel on any of the northern lines. He is discontented at the compulsory stay at the general offices. Like a worthy workman he regards with distaste the bread of idleness he is forced to eat.


"Help," the canine friend of railway orphans is anxious to resume his duties. Any innovations to take trips by rail from guards willing to accept his company will receive "Help's" prompt attention. Letters should be addressed , "Dog Help," 306, City Road, London, E.C. We are requested to acknowledge, as collected by "Help," the sum of money 1s. 8d. from the Ladies at 318, City Road, E.C. Pence thrown into carriage at Wilson fete on Monday, chiefly by young women, 1s. 8d.




"Help" is paying a few days' visit to Hastings and St. Leonards, with a view of soliciting subscriptions (however small) for the benefit of the Orphan Fund for railway servants who are killed on duty. He is a fine specimen of a genuine Colley, and as made some long journeys to various parts of England, and one quite recently to Dieppe, where he was the means of upwards of £5 being collected. He has also been present at large banquets in aid of railway benevolent institutions, and was there the object of considerable attention. "Help" is at present in charge of an ex-railway servants at 20, South Terrace, Hastings, who is authorised to receive subscriptions. -- Hastings Paper  



Dog "Help" is sill in South Wales. Last Saturday he paid an official visit in capacity of travelling agent to the Cardiff branch of the society. He came not empty away, but richer by 5s. The widow lay at whose house he has taken up his headquarters when in Cardiff says he is the best dog in the world, but adds that he won't eat his biscuits. "Help" has a valid cause for objecting to biscuits. While yet a puppy on a Hibernian 's estate in Scotland, the shepherd marked him out for duty as his companion in caring for the sheep in the Peeblesshire district. He therefore under went the operation of his fang teeth filed down level with the with the smaller ones, so as to prevent him marking the sheep who hereafter were disobedient to his voice. These teeth, devoid of nature's enamel, decay, and are excessively tender. Biscuits cause pain when bitten, hence "Help" avoids them. His food is bread and milk, and occasionally meat.





My dear old Doggie. We are wearying to hear of you again, for we have not forgotten you, and now send you some pennies which we have collected for your poor little orphans. I hope you are getting on well amongst your new friends, and behaving yourself as a good old Scottish doggie should. We send you our photographs to keep you in mind of us. We all wish you a very merry Christmas. 
Your loving friend
Robert George Riddell

[Accompanying the letter were some very original drawings of children by Master Riddells little sister "Daisy" for dog "Help's" delectation, and the young lady wishes the orphans bairnies a happy Christmas. Stamps to the amount of five shillings represents the pennies referred  to. - Ed. R.R.]

Over the coming weeks and months, the Dog "Help" did numerous visits across the length and breadth of the country, which included a couple of trips to France travelling between Newhaven and Dieppe. These visits raised much needed funds for the Orphanage Fund, and are recorded in various editions of the Railway Review.


10TH AUGUST 1883

page 10


As article which appeared in the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday says:-


31ST AUGUST 1883

Dog "Help," the society's collector for the Orphan Fund, after a brief period of rest, left London on Saturday last, his destination being Scarborough, which is so popular as a pleasure  and health resort at this period of the year. On this way thither he spent Sunday at Selby and York, at both places receiving a hearty become from the railwaymen, their wives and children, and several sums were duly handed over to the local officers at these places to be placed to the dog's account. During this journey of 189 miles in the care of the general secretary, "Help's" behaviour, in a compartment of a carriage carry its full complement of passengers, was most exemplary, and he soon became a general favourite, so much so that as soon as his mission bane known, by the passengers reading the inscription on the medal which adorns his breast, the fund was benefited to the extent of several shillings as a result of the journey. On arriving at Scarborough on Monday "Help" soon became an object of attraction, and towards evening, when a large number of excursionists were returning from a day's pleasure, he had taken up a position on the platform, where dumbly though eloquently he pleaded the cause of railwaymen's orphans with some amount of success. As in all his former wanderings in Great Britain and on the Continent, he has found himself a good home among strangers, the railwaymen of Scarborough, from the stay as pleasant to himself and as profitable to the Orphan Fund.  



"Help" the Society's canine collector for the Orphan Fund, is still so journeying with good people of Scarborough, where by the latest accounts he is pursuing his mission with a considerable amount of success. A correspondence informs us that the average of his collection for the fund during his stay is 10s. per day, and that he is a general favourite. Railwaymen and their families will re-echo our wish that the four footed friend of the fatherless children of deceased comrades may long be spared to carry on the good work in which he is engaged.

(We are indebted to the Sporting and Dramatic News four our illustration.) 
See Below



Dog "Help" terminated his stay at Scarborough on Saturday last, and is now located in the ancient city of York. it is expected that he will accompany the general secretary to Edinburgh on the 1st October, to make the acquaintance of the delegated at the annual general meeting of the Amalgamated Society. It will be noticed by our readers that is is not only the inhabitants of the town or city where "Help" may be for a time staying that are contributions to the Orphan Fund. There are amounts come to hand weekly from friends to the cause at places he has visited some time ago, and from others where he has only been heard of or read about, who desire to swell the amount of the sum credited to the faithful animal's account for the railwaymen's orphans. The sum remitted to Help's trainer, Mr. J. Climpson, guard of the "night boat" train on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, for the week is as follows :- Collected at Eastbourne station by Guard Scammell, 5s. 10d.; Miss L. Baughan, Cheltenham, 2s. 6d.; private collection box 3s. 4d.; M.B. 10s.; sale of photo, £1 2s. 8d. 


Dog "Help." - The portrait of the canine friend of the orphan has just been reproduced in an entirely new form, this time in an elegant designed Lady's Brooch of Sterling silver, which can be obtained only at head offices of the Amalgamated Society, 306, City road, London, E.C. Price Six Shillings. all profits arising from the sale will be devoted to the Orphan Fund.

*advert appeared in the 25th July, 1884 Railway Review



Dog "Help" has been re-adorned. It occurred to W. Hughes, Esq., of London, that this faithful and useful creature was worthy of something better than an electro-plated collar and tablet, and on Tuesday an interesting took place in the present of a select party including Mr. Harford (the general secretary of the Amalgamated Society, Mr. John Climpson (the dog's "master"), and some leading railway officials. On this occasion "Help" had his ordinary collar removed for the purpose of it being replaces by one of solid silver, suitably engraved, at the hands of the generous donor. It had been suggested that the value of the collar should be placed to the credit of the orphan Fund, instead of being spent in so costly an article; but Mr. Hughes was firm of purpose. The dog must have the collar, but the fund should have its value in addition. Mr. Hughes is evidently a gentleman who does nothing by halves. A solid medallion is to replace the one "Help" has hitherto worn, and Mr. Hughes will contribute five guineas per annum to the Orphan Fund. Well done Mr. Hughes. We can only hope with that gentleman that "Help" may long be spared to wear his handsome decorations and pursue his meritorious mission, for, should he pass over to "the majority," the collar is to be returned to that gentleman, who will then supply a successor of as near as possible the same qualifications as the original beneficiare. We should like to say much of the noble spirit manifested by Mr. Hughes, but we must not; for that gentleman is one of those who "do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame."   



It will interest out readers to know. that dog "Help" was last week on a visit to Bristol, where at the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Dog Show he was a centre of attraction. not for the purpose of competition did "Help" find way to the show, but at the request of the show committee, who were desirous of helping the orphans of railwaymen; and thanks to their kind invitation, the fund has been benefitted to the extent of £15, while "Help" has been presented with a medal as a memento of his visit to the show. The best thanks of the member are due to the committee of the show, and especially to J.R. Scudamore, Esq., the Hon. Sec., for the care taken of him, and the capital position assigned to our faithful "Help," among such a large number of species that were assembled in the Drill Hall, Queen's Road, Bristol, from the 3rd to the 7th.



We are glad to fond that the first almanac issued in the interest of the Amalgamated Society's Orphan fund promises to be a decided success. The portraits of the President, Treasurer, General Secretary, Assistant Secretary, and last, but not least, those of Dog "Help" and his master, are well defined and life like; and no society man, nor, indeed, and railwayman, should consider his home furnished without one wall, at least, being decorated with a copy of "Every Railwayman's Almanac."  



The following appears in the Western Daily Press of Wednesday"- Mr. Edward Harford, general secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, write to us as follows:- "Will you kindly allow me, through the medium of your columns, to convey to the committee of the late Bristol, Clifton, and West of England Dog Show, and the numerous visitors who patronised it, the grateful thanks of the society I have the honour to represent, for the generous response made to the silent appeal of 'Help,' the railway dog of England, on behalf of the orphans of railway men who lose their lives in the performance of their duties. To the committee of the show we are indebted for their kind and courteous invitation to allow 'Help' to be present, and the gift of a silver medal as a souvenir of his visit. To the patrons and visitors for the handsome sum of £15, in the shape of donations which found their way into the collecting boxes placed alongside him. It may be gratifying to the public to know that during the year the donations given to 'Help' has enabled the society to make allowance of from 3s. to 7s. per week according to the number of orphans left, to eight families of children."




We have seen a statement as follows:- 
"On Wednesday morning the well known Colley dog 'Help,' which has been collecting subscriptions throughout the country on behalf of the Railway Servants Orphanage , London, was killed by a passenger train at level railway crossing at Middlesborough." 
We have made inquiry at the Head Office, and find that Mr. Harford had wired to Middlesborough, but at the time of going to press he had not received any reply. We hope the report is not true. 




"This morning the well known Colley dog, 'Help,' which has been collecting subscriptions throughout the country on behalf of the Railway Servants' Orphan fund, London, was killed by a passenger train at a level crossing at Middlesbrough."

Such was the startling paragraph which met our gaze on looking through the special editions of the London evening papers just as we were going to press with our last week's issue. Knowing, however, that our canine friend should be nowhere near Middlesbrough, we declined then to accept the report; but when, on the following morning, it appeared in nearly all the daily papers, accompanied with articles couched in eulogistic terms, and biographies of the dog more or less inaccurate, the report was allowed to appear in our second edition, and telegram was sent to Worcester, the place to which "Help" was last dispatched. In reply thereto we were assured that he was well and happy, and was pursing his beneficent avocation with excellent results. This terrible burden off our minds, the press was at once communicated with, and the report of his untimely end contradicted. What foundation, if any, there was for the report we cannot conceive, and our Middlesbrough correspondent can throw no light on the matter. However, the dog is alive and well, and the episode shows us how popular he is throughout the country, and how wide his fame has spread.

"Help" is no "trick" dog, and he does not actually collect subscriptions as many suppose. He is simply a means to that end. His mute appeal, as he gazes into the faces of all who will notice him, is eloquent in the extreme, while he, at the same time, boldly displays the inscription on the silver pendant attached to his massive collar; and his fondness for children, whose cause he advocates, is such that the heart must be stony indeed that is not affected thereby. This idea of obtaining a sloth Colley for this purpose emanated from Mr. John Climpson, the popular guard of the "night boat train" on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, who is one who is never weary of doing good, and seems never satisfied that he has done enough to help the helpless. His active brain is never exercised to try and find out what more he can do. his success in the matter of procuring and training a dog in the interests of the Railway Servants' Orphan fund was not achieved off hand. He had failures. One puppy that he had in training died of distemper, and a second shared the same fate; but he was not the man to quietly accept defeat. His mind was made up, and no question, of time, trouble, or expense would induce him to abandon his purpose. There was something to be done, and that something could be done, and should be done, and, thanks of the intervention of the Rev. Dr. Macleod, our friend "Help" was presented to the Orphan Fund by Mr. William Riddell, of Hailes, Haddington, whose, three young daughters inquire so affectionately after his welfare each time they send him their New Year's gift. Up to the end of last year the money raised through the instrumentally of "Help" rather exceeded £2 per week, which means that this faithful and docile creature relieves the Orphan Fund of the cost of supporting some half dozen orphans; or, in other words, that dog "Help," by his mute appeals, provides their needs. With such a result, Mr. Climpson has good reason to be satisfied with the outcome of his efforts. And it should be borne in mind that in collecting subscriptions for the Society's Orphan Fund, it is all done voluntarily: there are no salaries, and there are no commissions to absorb any portions of the money subscribed; and as regards "Help," with the exception of his food when taking a brief rest at headquarters, and the license - which the excise authorities are careful to exact, and his fares which are paid to the companies - all money raised by his aid goes straightaway for the benefit of the orphans. When "Help" is "on duty," as he nearly always is, his board and lodging is hospitality provided by the kind friend who has him in charge.

There is every reason to anticipate that "Help's" ledger account for the present year will be considerably in excess of any  of previous years; for the more the travels for more widely he is known, as he quickly makes friends with all he comes in contact with, and his fondness for lavishing his canine on little children goes far to make him popular. His visits to various parts of late have been highly successful, and that to the recent dog show at Bristol was a decided hit. In four days no less a sum of fifteen pounds was found deposited in his box, and he was presented with a medal as a souvenir of his visit. Still it must have surprised his many intimate friends to find by the Press throughout the kingdom how far "Help's" game had spread. Many are the requisitions for his services, and numerous are the strangers who desire to set eyes on him; but seeing how ell he is doing at Worcester, it is but natural that his friends there should by anxious to keep him longer. however, he will fulfil all his engagements in time. "Every dog has his day," and lets us hope that "Help's" day will be a long one, and that he will be spared for many years to pursue his labour of love, and that when his end does come - as come it must some day - it will not be in any such way us that depicted in the terrible tidings which came to hand last week/ He deserves a better fate than which is too frequently met by those whose offspring he lives to succour.


Since writing the foregoing, and just as we were going to press a light has been thrown on the origin of the reported death of dog "Help," in a note from the Middlesbrough branch secretary, "Help," which shows that the error on the part of the writer of that report was not so inexcusable as it at first sight appeared. We are told that Mr. Hardy, of the Crown Hotel, Middlesbrough, had a dog which greatly resembled "Help," and this dog was killed at the level crossing on the night named in the report. Like "Help," this dog was engaged on a mission of charity, in aid of the Cottage Hospital and North Riding Infirmary; and, added to this, while "Help" was at Middlesbrough, he stayed the greater part of his time at the Crown Hotel. The dog which was killed resided at "Help's" Middlesbrough home, resembled "Help" in appearance, and followed a similar calling. No great wonder, then, that the mistake arose. We are sorry for the poor dog who was killed, and sincerely sympathise with Mr. Hardy on his loss, the more particularly so when we remember that he it was who provided a hospitable home for our own faithful canine friend.



It will be a source of great gratification to our numerous readers and sympathising correspondents to know that the excitement unnecessarily created by the untrue report that our good friend "Help" was dead may be allayed. From the almost innumerable inquiries which we received, we could almost have imagined that "Help" was well known to our Majesty's subjects as her Majesty herself, which somewhat goes to prove the axiom, "Love me, love my dog." Perhaps no dog has been so much honoured as "Help," by the announcement of his premature decease. Although we know that men have been distinguished by their obituaries having appeared before they were dead, dogs are not often honoured in this way. It would be curious to ascertain Lord Brougham's thoughts when he heard that he had died.

To the numerous orphans it must be a source of great thankfulness that our dog has not only had his day, but is spared to us yet another day, and we hope many days more for the purpose of doing his little best in the interests and welfare of those who cannot help themselves.

If dogs could think and speak, what would "Help" say about the following extracts, which have appeared about him in the Press:-

It was merely the lifeless body of a dog mangled and disfigured, that was found on the metals of the North Eastern Railway at Middlesbrough on Wednesday morning, after the passage of the Newcastle train. The life had been crushed out by the merciless wheels of the iron horse, and as it was only the life of a brute, there was an end of it. But what a life did that mangled body represent! It was not a long life, and yet how men who have passed the allotted span of three score years and ten could present such a record as that of the railway dog "Help," whose beneficent career was thus so sadly terminated! a few months ago the story of "Help's" life was told in the columns of the Leeds Mercury Weekly Supplement, and those who desire to know what sort of a dog he was will find an engraving of him in the October number of The Animal World. He was a pure Scotch collie, a genuine sheep dog, who had won his way into the heat of his first master in Roxburghshire, and who, because of his faithfulness and intelligence, was given to the work of the Railway Servants' Orphanage. He took to his work kindly, and after being trained by Mr. John Climpson, a guard on the "night boat train" of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway*, he entered on his mission as "a collector." He had a free pass on all lines. Wherever he was sent he did his duty. He was at home on the Continent as well as in England or in Scotland. his collecting box, attached to a bright plated collar, with an inscription briefly setting forth who he was and his object, was his badge of authority. He could utter no words, but his appeals to the generosity and sympathy of  this he encountered were made intelligible by the kindly eye and quiet, unobtrusive manner of "the collector." "Help," in fact, could speak in the language which is known all over the world, and it is stated that he collected on an average £100 a year. it is sad to think that a life so nobly spent should have been so miserably ended. We could almost envy the faith of the Indian, who believes in the future of his dog as well as of himself. At any rate, we trust that those whom "Help" served so well will not be unmindful of what they owe to him, and that there will be some record of the poor collie whose life was sacrificed in their service. - Leeds Mercury.
*Should be London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway.

Everyone was grieved to read that the Colley dog "Help," who went about collecting money for the Railway Benevolent Fund, had come to an untimely end on the line. Unlike "Railway Jack," the report represented him as too much damaged to be repaired. talking about "Jack," who walks about with a wooden leg, I am reminded of the three legged dog I saw recently at a railway station just before you come to Civita Vecchia. It was a beautiful dog, and it came to beg at the carriage doors; but as it stood up the effect was almost laughable, as it stood entirely on one leg. The other was cut off close to the body. On inquiry I found it had been run over by a train, and amputation had been successfully performed. At the same station I was more than ever impressed with the hideous cruelty to animals openly practiced in Italy. I saw two poor little calves packed alive in an open hamper not big enough to hold a lamb. The poor little things were tied up in a round ball with ropes, their hind legs bound firmly to their heads, and the rope was drawn so tightly about them that they could hardly breathe. In this condition they were going by a slow train a distance of a hundred miles. The S.P.C.A. can do no good, I find, in Italy, as the people and the clergy ridicule the idea of being merciful to beasts "who have no souls." Moreover, the Italians are very jealous of English interference. I will not harrow the minds of my readers with the daily and hourly scenes of hideous cruelty to dumb beasts that I have witnessed. I shudder now as I think of the hapless lot of horses and dogs and cattle born under the sunny skies of the south. There is, however, one august lady who could save the present race and generation of dumb brutes yet unborn their lifelong burden of torture. If the tender  hearted Queen of Italy would but take the matter up, her influence would be instantly beneficial and far spreading and enduring. is it not possible for our society here to broach the matter diplomatically in the right quarter?

An "Help" isn't killed after all. He is well and happy in Worcester. What is one to believe nowadays in the newspaper when they even invent the death of a dog to fill up an odd corner? 

There was at one time a general impression that dogs find their way home by the scent; but close observation of their habits had led most people to doubt the truth of this conclusion. Even those who accept this theory are quite unable to decide what scent the animals follow -whether the footsteps of their masters or the track of their own paws. A gentleman who had lived for three years at corner house of a street in London became convinced that his terrier, as it made it way whenever it was lost in any part of the metropolis unerringly to his doorstep, was guided by the keenest of its olfactory nerves. but when he at length removed to one of the centre of a row of houses in a dull West-end street, where each doorway was exactly the same in appearance, he was surprised to find his dog frequently, and for a period extending over two years, mistaking the door of someone else on the same side of the way for that of his master. There the dog would sit and persistently bark in order to gain admission; no amount of examination of the steps giving the animal any idea that he was waiting outside the wrong house. The inference afterwards drawn by the owner was that the terrier found his way, not by scent but by observation of objects; in short, in much the same way that the homing pigeon makes its way back; but with this manifest difference, that the latter trusts to its power vision alone, whereas the dog, probably by the examination, is enabled to recognise minute peculiarities at certain stages of his journey from which confirm him in his notion that he is on the right track. The degree of intelligence exhibited under such circumstances varies, however, to a remarkable extent among members of the canine race. A well known collie dog whose death is announced to day seems to have had the faculty developed in a marvellous degree of finding his way from one place to another. He was, in fact a sort of travelling agent for a very deserving institution, called the Railway Servants' Orphanage, which has it headquarters in London. it was no misnomer to have given him the name of "Help," for he has certainly greatly assisted in adding to the funds of the orphanage. For him the railway and those connected with it had a strange charm, and he seemed to be as much at home running about on a platform at Birmingham as he was on one in London. The history of his services has yet to be written, so that we are unable to say how much money he collected by his mute appeals, aided by the collar which he wore. yesterday morning "Help" was killed by a passenger train at Middlesbrough. -- Daily Chronicle.

Thackeray -- who hated Sterne -- lashes the author of "A Sentimental Journey" with a whip of scorn for shedding tears over  dead jackass. Yet it is not difficult to imagine with what pathetic tenderness the creator of Colonel Newcome might himself have praised a dead dog -- no other than the famous Scotch collie "Help," who was run over and killed by a passenger train at a level crossing at Middlesbrough. it was the business and pleasure of this good creature's existence to collect subscriptions for the Orphan fund of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, and in that capacity he travelled over a greater part of the country, always returning safe and sound to headquarters in the City road with the proceeds of his charitable mission intact. Last autumn "Help" paid a visit to the Continent, and was introduced by the captain of the steamship Brittany to Her Majesty's vice consul at Dieppe, at which town he collected one hundred and fifty francs. On the return journey to Newhaven he got six pounds more. Altogether the French trip yielded the society the sum of twelve pounds. the dog was trained to "offices of charity" by one of the guards of the night boat train on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Line. He seemed thoroughly to appreciate the usefulness of his career, and never lost an opportunity of adding to his employers' income. An annual of singularly engaging manners, great intelligence,  and a most generous disposition, "Help" will be sincerely regretted by a large circle of admiring friends. Pope pleaded for the "faithful friend" of the "poor Indian" with "untutored mind" that he might "bear his master company" in the happy hunting ground of the future life. But no such appeal is necessary in this case. A dog's heaven is in his master's approving smile. "Help" lived and died doing his duty; and that man is fortunate; indeed who, dying, can have so much truly recorded for his epitaph. Daily Telegraph 

Well might "Help" say: 
"There sic parades sic pomp, an' art,
The joy can scarcely reach the heart" - of even dogs.
Still in spite of all that has been said:-
"His honest sons, bas't face
Ay gets him friends in ilia place;
His fine white breast, his towzie back
Weel clad with coat of glossy black;
His gawsie tail wi' upward curl,"

will make all our friends the more anxious to see what they can do to add to the great and good work which "only a dog" has done. But if the "general public" have felt and thought so much about "Help," what must have been the feelings of his trainer, John Climpson, and the good secretary of the Railway Servants' Society at the thought of losing so good a friend? We feel sure that everyone will be glad that "Help" is still spared to help on the good work that he been trained to, and rejoice in the fact that after all the fears that were excited in the hearts of the numerous friends the poor doggie made, there is this result - "good cometh out of evil."


It was with bated breath we read the announcement in last Thursday's daily press, "The Death of a Famous Dog." After pursuing the paragraph in question, strange notions forced them-selves upon us. One thing we all displayed, a if moved and controlled by one instinct, vi., sorrow for the loss of our faithful Colley, who, like Burn's "Laugh,"

"Was a gush an' faithfu' tyke.
As ever lap a hough or dyke:
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face,
Aye gat hem friends in ilka place.
His breast was white, his towzie back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gauche tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung o'er his hurries wi' a swurl."

And while lamenting the loss to the Orphan fund of its sagacious collector, we found some comfort in the hope that it might not, after all, be our "Help," but some northern tyke steering south without a guide, rather than bear the scanty fare and chilling air of his native heath. Singular to state, in twenty four hours our hopes were realised, by a contradiction of the grave news, with the additional information that "Help" is pegging away some three hundred miles from Middlesbrough. we trust that no epitaph need be written for our worth dog inside the next. ten years.


7TH MARCH 1884


"Help," the orphans'. dog, is dead,
'Twas thus I in the papers read,
And reading thus, I did inquire
What was this dog, that men admire?
Was he of fancy, noble bread,
Unmatch'd for beauty, strength, or speed?
Did he some friendless orphan save
From danger, or a watery grave?
No; but his mission was to aid
The orphans by our railways roade.
He journeyed throughout Albion's isle,
By mute appeal to swell the pile
That aids the weak and fatherless
And widow, in her deep distress,
 When their earthly strength and stay
Has fallen down on life's highway.
But "Help's" not dead, 'twas false alarm;
May he live long, be free from harm;
And all who help this work of love
Be aided by the Power above.

Long Jimmy
Willesden Junction


14TH MARCH 1884


Help is a thing we all require
Thank god our "Help" did not expire
Under the crushing wheels of train,
but spared to labour once again
In aid of those who are bereft
Of father's care; their mothers left
To fight life's battles as they can,
Assisted by Dog "Help" and man.
His mute appeal the feelings touch,
Of those who have no troubles such;
Long may he live in such a cause,
And prosper by his well worn paws,
To help the needy and distressed
When last he earns a happy rest;
Then by John Climpson he'll be blest
And chicks for whom he did his best


21ST MARCH 1884

Commenting on the reported death of dog "Help" a provincial contemporary says:- It has often been a weakness of great minds to know what the world at large really thinks of them. Lord Brougham is said to have been so consumed with curiosity upon this point as to have made a feint of dying in order to study his own obituaries. The scheme was so far successful that he found them more eulogistic than he would have done twenty one afterwards, when he died in real earnest. His device, however, spoilt the market for all imitators. All his journals now insist on waiting till the breath is out of his body before commenting upon any eminent personage. The temptation to do otherwise, and get twelve hours' start of a contemporary, is tremendous; but they have always resisted it. Columns and columns of type, set up on this or that sick man's account, from the Prince of Wales downwards, have had to be "distributed" regardless of expense. nothing is now done without the doctor's certificate; and it is probable that no human being will ever have the enjoyment of Lord Brougham's exceptional experience. A dog called "Help," the well known "railway collie," has, however, succeeded in once more "taking in" the newspapers in this way. His death was telegraphed from the country - he is probably the first dog that ever put the wires in motion - and his virtues have been freely commented upon by the London press. such instinct, such intelligence, such superhuman sagacity, etc. Yet all the time his eulogists little knew what a very clever dog he was. Doubtless, acting on "Help's" instructions, "the general secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants" has written to say that the dog is in the enjoyment of his usual health and spirits at his temporary residence (for he is always travelling about) at Worcester.


27TH JUNE 1884

In our issue of the 30th ult., we remarked briefly upon dog "Helps" propitious debut at Birmingham. Every hope then entertained as a the result of his visit to that busy centre has been more than realised, for in the short space of six weeks he has the means of enriching the Orphan Fund to the extent of upwards of £45.

Our canine friends has also done good service by visiting the board schools at Smethwick, King's Norton, and Bromsgrove, and it was most appropriate that he should be present at the Blue Ribbon demonstration at Mosely Park, for "Help" has alway been one of the staunchest abstainers from alcoholic fluids extant.



extracted  from the MusiCB3 Blog website

Published in around 1884 by The Railway Servants Orphan Fund, this song is written from the perspective of Help, a collie dog, who had a very important job. Known as the ‘Railway dog of England’, Help’s job was to travel on the trains and collect donations for the Railway Servants Orphan Fund. Railway work was a dangerous occupation, and there were numerous charities of this sort set up to provide support for the families of railwaymen who were killed or injured in the course of their work.



Dog "Help" indefatigable trainer, Mr. J. Climpsom, seems determined that when his docile pupil shall be no more his memory shall be perpetuated; for he has written a song appropriately describing toe dog's advent and his mission, which has been set to telling music by Herr H. Schallehn. The front page bears the a graphic illustration of "Help" leaving the brake van on the arrival of the train at a station and approaching a lady and child, who are looking down fondly upon him, while his master is following closely behind.

The title page illustration shows Help being admired by a woman and a girl outside a guard’s van of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, with the guard John Climpson standing in the doorway. The back cover of the song has some information about Help and his mission:

The words to the song were written by John Climpson, a Brighton train guard who had worked on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway for many years. Help was given to Climpson by Scottish dog breeder William Riddell, after Climpson had the idea of using a good-natured dog to collect funds. Help was given no special training, but simply allowed to travel about on the railway network with a wooden collecting box and a collar with a medal explaining his mission. The chorus of the song describes Help’s occupation: 

My name is “Help” the Collie Dog And I travel on the rail. 
To canvass for the Orphan Fund In slow train, or the mail. 
My post is trusty you must know. The cause is good and true, 
And worthy of the kind support Which I now ask of you.

“Help” The Railway Dog of England.

This animal, of the pure Scotch colley breed, is the property of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants. The Dog’s mission is to obtain aid for the fatherless children of railway servants – and well does he perform his task, judging from the sums of money he has already brought to the society’s exchequer from the various towns and villages in which he has periodically taken up his abode. Gentle, and docile, he easily establishes himself as a family pet, every member being his guardian friend. He will follow, without leading, any railwayman with whom he has had a few hours acquaintance, while he will allow the children of a household to caress and fondle him, romping and playing with them gaily, and with spirit. The idea of keeping and training a dog to act as a medium for collection of money in aid of the Railway Servants’ Orphan Fund originated with Mr John Climpson, the popular guard of the “night boat train” on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway – a position which he has filled for over twenty seven years. Having conceived the idea, the Rev. Dr Macleod was made acquainted with the object for which a dog of the Scotch colley breed was required. The venerable doctor was struck with the good purpose to which the dog would have to devote himself, and made inquiries among his friends and as a result, Mr William Riddell, of Hailes, Haddington, very generously proffered the subject of this sketch, as a present to the Orphan Fund. 

For some time the sums collected for the Orphan Fund by means of “Help” have averaged considerably over £5 per week; a subscription which helps to maintain several families of orphans. He has not been trained to perform any antics, so that his mission only is known by a handsome silver collar, to which is appended a medal bearing the following inscription: – “I am “Help” the Railway dog of England, and travelling agent for the orphans of railwaymen who are killed on duty. My office is at 306, City Road, London, where subscriptions will be thankfully received and duly acknowledged.” 

He has been to a large number of the principal towns in England and Wales, and has twice crossed the Channel to France. It is to be hoped that “Help” will live many years to help those who cannot help themselves.

Help did indeed live many more years to carry out his duties on the railway, before retiring to live a more restful life in Newhaven. His death in 1891 was reported by the Railway Review, who estimated that he had collected “upwards of £1000 for the Orphan Fund”. The success of Help as a fundraiser meant that other railway companies followed suit – other ‘railway dogs’ included Brake, the Southsea and Ryde collecting dog, and Prince, who collected donations at Croydon station




At the Custom House, Newhaven, on the 2nd inst., the officers of Her Majesty's Customs met together to present Mr. John Climpson, guard of the night boat train, with a case containing half a dozen solid spoons and sugar tongs, being the following inscription:-

'Presented to Mr. John Climpson by the officers of Her Majesty's Customs, Newhaven, on the occasion of his marriage, September, 18884.'

J.J. Head Esq., the collector, stated, in a few well chosen terms, the Mr. Climpson was beloved and esteemed by all the officers at the port on account of the uniform kindness and civility displayed by him on all occasions, during a course of nearly thirty years, and expressed a hope that he might long be spared to enjoy the use of the present in his married life. Mr. Climpson, who spoke with emotion, suitably replied, thanking the officers in very feeling terms.

From the Goods Department, Newhaven Harbour Station, we learn that Mr. Reeves, station superintendent, in making another presentation said:-

"Our old friend Guard Climpson having entered into partnership it was thought a most fitting occasion to show the esteem in which he is held, by opening up a subscription among his many acquaintances, with a view to presenting him with a substantial wedding gift. I am glad to say (says our correspondent) this has been very successful, and , on behalf go the subscribers I have much pleasure now in handing him the result, viz., "A ten guinea watch." In presenting this I do so accompanied by the very best wishes of all for the general welfare and happiness of both himself and Mrs. Climpson, hoping (unless a good promotion may remove him) to see his face for many years to come doing daily duty at our boat train service." The inscription on the watch is as follows :- 

"Presented to Mr. J. Climpson, by his Newhaven and Desford friends, on his marriage, September 1st, 1884."




The Belfast News Letter, on January 26th says:-
"Belfast is being honoured with a flying vest from one of the most famous workers in connection with philanthropic organisations in England and Scotland. "Help," the celebrated railway dog, whose picture has appeared in most of the pictorial journals in England, is staying with Mr. Harford, the general secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, who is engaged in the formation of the parent branch of that organisation in Ireland. the dog is of the pure collie breed, and belong to the society. The animal's mission is to obtain aid for the fatherless children of railway servants - and well does he perform his task, judging from the sums of money he has already brought to the society coast exchequer from the various towns and villages in which he has periodically taken up his abode. He will follow, without leading, any railwayman with whom he has had a few hours' acquaintance, while he will allow the children of a household to caress and fondle him."

On Monday, the 20th inst., Mr. Harford accompanied by "Help," paid a visit to the Belfast and Northern counties Railway station at Belfast, where, through the kindness of the officials, they were introduced to the whole of the principal officers of the company, and were afterwards shown through the whole of the company's sheds and workshops,  in each of which they were met with expressions of welcome, and some substantial donations were given to the fund raised by "Help" to aid the orphans of deceased railwaymen. 


10TH JULY 1885


"In the latest report of the Orphan Fund account of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, just issued, that wonderful dog "Help" is credit with collections to the amount of two hundred and fifty eight pounds. That is to say, this animal, by its own intelligent exertions, has been the means of providing throughout the year for a large number of "the little ones" rendered fatherless by the cruel exigences of the service. Nor is there anything foreign to the canine character in this noble work of charity. The affection of dogs for our race is notorious, and above all their tenderness to little children. So, though of course 'Help' has no real idea of the goos he is doing, and to whom he is doing that good, it is pleasant to believe that he does; that he goes about his work with his heart wrong for the babies left to grow up without a father's protection; and that he carries back his earnings, conscious that he has done so much more towards helping this orphan or that to fight its way through life. The alliance is a touching one, and though novel in this special development, is thoroughly in harmony with the general relations of dog and man. As a type of courageous, self forgetful friendship it has been familiar to humanity from the earliest days, and a feature of happy domestic life as invariably recurring in ancient as in modern days. The position that it fills in human society is so dignified that nothing, probably, which it can ever do will further enhance it, for it has established itself, beyond the power of all revolutions of taste and sentiment, as the worthiest and best of the friends man. In the present instance, there is an animal who, for no other reward than the praise of its employers devotes itself diligently and conscientiously to a special work, travelling about in trains from town to town, visiting from house to house, and satisfied with itself and happy because it gets money in its pouchier signatures in a subscription book. What can be the motive that leads a quadruped, 'an irrational creature,' to take pleasure in such a routine of duties, or find gratification in such results? It can hardly be anything less than a sense of duty; and, perhaps, fortunately so. For of 'Help' understood what the true nature of his undertaking was, he would come too near ourselves to be so loveable as he is. He would cease to b a dog, and we should have merely the charitable man. As it is, there is something singularly pathetic in the fact of an animal working away with such patient zeal in a good cause, without being able to share in the happiness which a better compression of his successful labours would confer. If the good creature could understand what it does when it brings relief to the widow and food to the fatherless it would have a full measure of reward; but it is satisfied with the 'well done' of friends, a putting on the head." 

After commenting on the doings of dogs in various countries and capacities, our contemporary thus concludes a most able and interesting article.

"The furthest point to which suggestions for the utilisation of all the canine intelligence which is now running to waste has ever reached is that these animals should b e taught a rudimentary language, and thus be not only rendered capable of going upon a variety of errands, but also enabled to convey information. If properly taken in hand, there is really, of course, no reason why a dog should not be educated into connecting a number of different sounds with a corresponding umber of different objects, and, when told to do so, be competent to fetch a doctor or a policeman, to give a fire alarm, or excuse a score of commissions. Yet, perhaps, if one started on the path of progress, the dogs might go too far, and nothing can be imagined more inconvenient than a dog that know too much. At present, it is an open question whether we do not in many ways demoralise our dogs, and it is well, therefore, perhaps, to avoid putting further temptations in their way. They are noble, unselfish, and honest animals, and it is very difficult, therefore, to see how we can improve upon such dogs as "Help." 




A new successful portrait of dog "Help" has been published by Wilson Hepple, artist, 7, Gallowgate, Newcastle-on-Tyne. When framed it makes a good picture, and is worthy of a place on the walls of the homes of railwaymen. The price (1s.) is within reach of all, and,

taking into account the excellence of the picture, is, in our opinion, very cheap. Copies can be ordered from the Head Offices of the A. S. R. S., 55, Colebrooke Row, London, N.




Our readers will be pleased to hear from their old friend "Help," who thus barks:-

Sir, - I beg to inform you that since I have had some rest and my diet taken into consideration, I begin to feel myself again, and I am in very good form. you will perhaps feel surprised to learn that my master has withdrawn me from the travelling agency, which I have held about eight years, and have, I am pleased to say, collected £1,000 for the orphans of railwaymen who are members of the A.S.R.S. As my duties were in travelling on railways I England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and many of the railway officials being so particular about the drivers' sight, I have feared they would try mine, and, as I know I could not bear the test, I thought, as my master had hinted to me, I had better retire (only from travelling) before I suffered the painful operation of being stopped for colour blindness. But, mark you here, although I am retired from travelling, I am still open to attend a good old tea fight at any time, if something is to be earned and it is not too far from my office, 55, Colebrooke Row, N., where my ledger will still lay open, during my life, to receive subscriptions from all those kind friends who may still interest themselves in the cause, and sent a trifle to my account. It shall be my duly acknowledged by my usual bow-wow.

Yours faithfully 
The Railway Dog of England

P.S. Compliments of the season to all my old associates in all parts where I have travelled throughout the railway system, - "Help"




Mr. J. Climpson, the trainer of the well known canine collector for the Orphan Fund of the A.S.R.S. informs on that “Help” is no more, having died at Newhaven, Sussex, where he has spent his time since he has been on the retired lust. This animal, some years ago, was without doubt the best known dog in the United Kingdom, and he was a welcome visitor in the homes of both the humble and the great. “Help,” with his trainer, was a familiar feature off the tidal trains from London Bridge to Newhaven, and on two occasions crossed the Channel. Few passengers on the London and Brighton were unacquainted with the dog and his mission.

The idea of keeping and training a dog to act as a medium for the collection of monies in aid of the Orphan Fund with Mr. Climpson, the popular guard of the “night boat trains” on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway - a position which he has killed for 35 years. Having convinced the idea, the Rev. Dr. Macleod was made acquainted with the object for which a dog of the Scotch collie breed was requires. This venerable doctor was struck with the good purpose to which the dog would have the devote himself, and made inquiries among his friends, and, as a result, Mr. William Riddell, of Hailes, Haddington, very generously proffered the subject of this sketch as a present to the Orphan Fund.

He was and trained to perform any anties, and his mission was known only by a handsome silver collar, to which was appended a silver medal bearing he following inscription:-
“I am Help, the railway dog of England, and travelling agent for the orphans of railwaymen who are killed on duty. My office is at 55, Colebrook Row,  London, where subscriptions will be thankfully received and duly acknowledged.”

It is estimated that “Help” was instrumental in obtaining upwards of £1,000 for the Orphan Fund. The amount collected, of course varied from the coppers of the workman to the gold of the well to do. At the Bristol Dog Show, in 1884, “Help” was presented with a silver medal, and ten guineas were realised as a result of his visit. In the same year Mr. F.W. Hughes, of the Greenham Club, presented him with a silver collar collar and tablet, and he constantly met with tokens of the esteem in which he and the cause were held by the public. Though “Help” had not been on active duty for nearly two years at the time of death, he still assisted the Orphan Fund, as several gentlemen continued their subscriptions to that fund marked, “For Dog 'Help,’ “ As the cause remains - and with considerably increased obligations, - for which he travelled, it rests with our friends to make up for his loss by increased efforts.




Our readers will be pleased to hear from their old friend "Help," who thus barks:-

Sir, - I beg to inform you that since I have had some rest and my diet taken into consideration, I begin to feel myself again, and I am in very good form. you will perhaps feel surprised to learn that my master has withdrawn me from the travelling agency, which I have held about eight years, and have, I am pleased to say, collected £1,000 for the orphans of railwaymen who are members of the A.S.R.S. As my duties were in travelling on railways I England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and many of the railway officials being so particular about the drivers' sight, I have feared they would try mine, and, as I know I could not bear the test, I thought, as my master had hinted to me, I had better retire (only from travelling) before I suffered the painful operation of being stopped for colour blindness. 


Brighton Bob mixed with commuters, sometimes boarding trains on their own to encourage more giving by passengers. He barked, “ hook hands” and performed tricks for money, their exploits frequently reported in the national and regional press. 

Brighton Bob could be a bit dishonest, he collect coins in his mouth and gave them in, but secure boxes had to be tied to him after a journalist for a Christian magazine discovered in the 1860s that Brighton Bob was using some of his money to buy biscuits at a bakery. 

Railway dogs, were usually looked after and trained by railway staff and proved popular and lucrative.

Information extract & adapted from the 

Old Southeronians Association Website 

Which was written 

By H.T. Hunt 


Brighton Railway Dog ‘Hector’ & National Fund C1914

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