Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

22 January 2011

Seek out the grave of Giro the dog

In the shadow of the Duke of York Column, at the top of the steps by the Royal Society and Carlton House Terrace is the grave of Giro the dog, whose owner Dr Leopold von Hoesch, whilst he was a well-respected diplomat under both the Weimar Republic and Nazi Government, famously received a full Nazi funeral in London in 1936.

Giro was an Alsatian, who actually died two years earlier in 1934, and probably had no idea what was going on in his home country, being a dog and all. However, often judged guilty by association to the newly-elected Nazi Government, whose British base was at the German Embassy at 8 & 9 Carlton House Terrace, nowadays Giro is almost as famous as his late owner.

Killed by accidental electrocution, having apparently chewed through a live wire during extension work, Giro was laid to rest in what was then the grounds of the Embassy, but is now basically just a patch of bare earth.

Your author is sure he has heard a tour guide tell unsuspecting tourists that Giro's ghost haunts the Carlton House Terrace and Waterloo Place to this day, but that's probably just for effect, and ghosts don't even actually exist. For more, click here.


  1. Von Hoesch was in fact the last ambassador of the Weimar Republic in London, He was opposed to Hitler and a well respected politician. To call his dog a 'Nazi Dog' is, sorry, wrong.

  2. Indeed, you are correct Konstantin, and I have made a minor adjustment. I never actually said Von Hoesch was a Nazi, however, and I know he was a respected diplomat.

  3. I have gone hunting for this thing so many times and never found it, I was beginning to think that it didn't exist!

  4. It has always annoyed me poor Giro being labeled a 'Nazi Dog' particularly as his owner was finding himself in conflict with the fascist regime.

    lets hope your post goes some way to correcting this misconception.

  5. Tom, this strange grave of a dog right in central London is indeed worth a post. Many bloggers have written about, so have I. It's just the headline that's giving me a headache. The dog's owner wasn't a Nazi. Why keep people calling the creature a 'Nazi dog'? Well without it the story is only half a story. It's still factually incorrect.