Tributes to Norfolk dog trainer Sidney Plumstead
- Credit: Archant
Tributes have been paid to a Norfolk man who dedicated his life to training dogs for use in the military and police services.
Sidney Plumstead, 96, died peacefully in his sleep on January 8.
His son Kevin Plumstead said his father, who was born in Norwich in 1921, had been at the forefront of training dogs for guarding purposes in the RAF.
'He was appointed to an experimental team in 1942 to see if dogs could be used in the RAF,' he said.
'The project was a success and led to the forming of the RAF's police dog section.'
Mr Plumstead said the dogs were used for guarding aeroplanes and also for areas where new aeroplanes were developed.
'My father became a member of the unit and was based in Wales where a dog he trained was involved in the capture of two German prisoners of war who escaped.'
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After the war ended, Sidney Plumstead returned to Norfolk where he bought property in Frettenham.
'He gradually built it up buying other property and eventually ended with 33 acres of land,' said Mr Plumstead.
'He established an Alsatian training facility and boarding kennels on the land.'
He said his father had been a founding member of the Norwich Dog Training Society along with Kay Gee and Edgar Daines, the then Chief Constable, in 1955.
'He realised that Norwich needed an Alsatian training facility and set up the Norfolk Alsatian Association and was head trainer for both organisations.'
Mr Plumstead said his father was contacted by Hong Kong police in the early 1970s to supply part-trained Alsatians to be used as search and rescue dogs.
'He also advised Belgium police with dog training and the formation of a police dog section in the country.'
Describing his father as a straight talker who loved his family, he said Sidney Plumstead had even appeared in a 'couple' of children's films in the 1960s as a dog trainer.
His wife, Doreen Plumstead, passed in 2009. The couple were married for 69 years.
He leaves behind three children, Brian, Pamela and Kevin.
His funeral, which takes place on Monday, January 22, will be attended by family, friends and a team of dog handlers from RAF Marham.