The Dickin Medal

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Whilst looking for infomation on WW2 Related VC's I came across the animals VC.

    Dickin Medal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    World War II era
    • 1943: Winkie – first pigeon to be awarded the medal; flew 120 miles from a crashed bomber to deliver an SOS. In all 32 pigeons were awarded the medal in World War II.
    • 1943: Ruhr Express – a messenger pigeon
    • 1944: Commando – a messenger pigeon
    • 1944: Paddy – messenger pigeon that made the fastest recorded crossing of the English Channel, delivering messages from Normandy for D-Day, travelling 230 miles in 4 hours 5 minutes.
    • 1944: William of Orange – used in the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944 saving 2000 soldiers
    • 1945: Rex – A rescue dog was officially recorded to have saved 65 people in London's flying bomb blitz.
    • 1946: G.I. Joe – a messenger pigeon and the only American bird or animal to be awarded the medal in WW II. The US Air Force was to bomb the city of Calvi Risorta in Italy at 11 am on October 18, 1943, however, British troops captured the city at 10 am and attempts to cancel the raid by radio failed. G.I. Joe had been borrowed from the American airfield earlier and, released with a message to stop the raid, arrived as the bombers were about to take off. An estimated 1,000 British troops could have died if the bombing had gone ahead.
    • 1946: Judy – a ship's dog and the only animal to have been officially registered as a Japanese prisoner of war.
    • 1947: Olga, Upstart and Regal – three police horses involved in incidents following German bombing raids, the first two involving flying bombs and the third an attack involving explosive incendiaries
    • 1949: Simon – the ship's cat on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident, noted for surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale and killing off a rat infestation during the incident, by doing this duty despite being wounded. He was raised to the fanciful rank of "Able Seacat" and awarded a campaign medal. The medal was sold by the Royal Navy and is now a valuable collectors item, partly because Simon has been the only cat to win the medal.
    Medwyn Edwards likes this.
  2. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    An interesting little known recognition for the service of animals. Thanks for posting it , Andy.

  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    See it on the news this morning. Well deserved. Great looking dog too.

    He has no tail bless him and yes he's very photogenic :)
  6. beeza

    beeza Senior Member

    I applaud the fact that this dog has probably saved the lives of many a serviceman
    and stopped many more being injured. Whether the animal knows it or not he has
    done a marvellous job protecting troops.
  7. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    dbf likes this.
  8. peterhastie

    peterhastie Senior Member

  9. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    I remember reading on the Britains small wars site of best sites on net by the way...that the Amathyst cat was lucky not to end up in a curry never mind a medal..I love the romantic side...I also love servicemans reality..
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | War hero dog's medal is auctioned
    Friday, 24 April 2009

    Rip was found homeless and starving in 1940
    War hero dog's medal is auctioned

    A medal awarded to a stray dog which helped to find trapped survivors in London during the Blitz has been sold at auction for £24,250.

    Rip the mongrel was awarded the Dickin Medal after helping to find more than 100 victims of air raids.

    Found homeless and starving in 1940, Rip was adopted by an air raid warden based at Southill Street Air Raid Patrol in Poplar, east London.

    The medal is considered the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

    The founder of veterinary charity PDSA, Maria Dickin, began awarding the medals in 1943 to recognise animals which showed "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty".

    Since its introduction, 62 have been awarded to dogs, pigeons, horses and a cat.

    The warden found the dog, which had no official training, was always on duty, never got in the way and was quick to locate casualties.

    Rip's success was partially responsible for prompting the authorities, towards the end of the Second World War, to train dogs officially to trace casualties.

    He died in 1948 and was the first of 12 "supreme animal heroes" to be buried in the PDSA cemetery in Ilford, Essex.

    The medal was auctioned at Spink in central London.

    Rip wore the medal on his collar for the rest of his life
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    BBC NEWS | UK | Spy pigeon's medal fetches £9,200

    Tuesday, 30 November, 2004
    Commando, pictured with the rare medal he won during World War II

    Spy pigeon's medal fetches £9,200

    A rare bravery medal awarded to a pigeon which flew vital intelligence out of occupied France in World War II has been sold at auction for £9,200.

    The PDSA Dickin medal was awarded to Commando the pigeon, which was bred in Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

    The medal, the animal version of the Victoria Cross, was put up for auction by the grandson of the pigeon's owner.

    It was bought by a British collector who already has three such medals given to pigeons for bravery.

    Commando, of the National Pigeon Service, distinguished himself in three covert missions helping British agents against the Nazis.

    Parachuted into France, he flew crucial intelligence, strapped to his leg in a tiny canister, back to Britain in June, August and September 1942.

    The information revealed the location of German troops, industrial sites and injured British soldiers.

    'Conspicuous bravery'
    Commando, a red chequer cock bird, had only a one in eight chance of surviving, facing such hazards as German marksmen, exhaustion and even enemy trained hawks.

    His owner, Sid Moon, had served with the Army Pigeon Service, during the First World War.

    He immediately made his pigeons available again following the outbreak of war in 1939.

    Commando was among 200,000 messenger pigeons volunteered for service by breeders during the conflict.

    He received his medal in 1945 for his "conspicuous bravery and devotion" before he was put out to stud.

    His name appears on a roll of honour alongside Royal Blue, the King's pigeon from the Royal Loft at Sandringham, Norfolk.

    The PDSA Dickin Medal, created in 1943, was named after Maria Dickin, who founded the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    BBC NEWS | UK | England | Hampshire | Hero pigeon's WWII medal on show

    Wednesday, 1 June, 2005

    Gustav was awarded his medal in 1944 (pic PDSA)

    Hero pigeon's WWII medal on show

    A WWII medal awarded to an heroic pigeon whose story inspired a Hollywood film, is to go on display.

    Gustav, trained by Frederick Jackson, of Cosham, Hampshire, was the first of the RAF's Homing Pigeon Service to bring back news of D-Day to the UK.

    The bird's Dickin Medal, one of 32 awarded to pigeons who carried secret messages during WWII, is due to go on show at Portsmouth's D-Day museum.

    Their story was recently made into the film Valiant, starring Ewan MacGregor.

    Gustav was one of six carrier pigeons given by the RAF to Reuters war correspondent Montague Taylor, who had gone with Allied Forces across the English Channel.

    The birds were taken to battle in wicker baskets on servicemen's backs and set free to fly home with vital information.

    Gustav was released off the Normandy coast and, faced with headwinds of up to 30mph and no sun to guide him on a cloudy day, he flew 150 miles to a pigeon loft in Thorney Island, near Portsmouth, in a journey that lasted five hours and 16 minutes.

    His handler, Sgt Harry Halsey took the message that read: "We are just 20 miles or so off the beaches.

    "First assault troops landed 0750. Signal says no interference from enemy gunfire on beach... Steaming steadily in formation.

    "Lightnings, typhoons, fortresses crossing since 0545. No enemy aircraft seen."

    Gustav was awarded his honour by Maria Dickin, founder of animal charity the PDSA, on 1 September 1944, one of only 60 animals to ever receive the bravery accolade.

    Paul Raymond, head of museums and records services, said: "With the 61st anniversary of D-Day on 6 June this is the first time the medal has been displayed in Portsmouth.

    "Gustav was a real local hero, putting his life on the line to bring back vital information on the success of D-Day.

    "The family which owned him have very kindly lent the museum his medal, giving everyone in the city the opportunity to find out about a fascinating part of our local history."
  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    PDSA website
    PDSA Dickin medal
    PDSA Dickin medal
    Instituted in 1943 by PDSA’s founder Maria Dickin, it acknowledges outstanding acts of bravery displayed by animals serving with the Armed Forces or Civil Defence units in any theatre of war, worldwide.
  14. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

    1946: Judy – a ship's dog and the only animal to have been officially registered as a Japanese prisoner of war.

    The story of Judy is one I particularly enjoy. There was a news article done about her not to long ago I think.

    Found it:
    Judy, the dogged PoW who defied the Japanese | Mail Online
    dbf likes this.
  15. izzy

    izzy Senior Member

    After the Battle Magazine done a feature on the P.D.S.A burial ground which had numerous graves for animals awarded the Dickin Medal each grave had a Headstone.In Calderstones Park Liverpool there is a Memorial and Grave to Jet of Iada who was a war resacue dog who was awarded the D.M.
  16. Roxy

    Roxy Senior Member

    The story of 'Winkie' is regularly told at No 42 Sqn dinners.

    I'll see if I can get some of the details.

  17. singeager

    singeager Senior Member

  18. Scout Sniper

    Scout Sniper Senior Member

    Is there a memorial to honor those who were awarded the Dickin Medal?

    Did these veterans receive military burials?

    Irma was an Alsatian, awarded the Dickin Medal for helping save 191 lives of those trapped under blitzed buildings. Her owner, Margaret Griffin, also received the British Empire Medal for her excellence in dog training. (Image via.)
  19. Scout Sniper

    Scout Sniper Senior Member

    A mixed-breed terrier, Rip received the Dickin Medal in 1945 for bravery, saving the lives of over 100 people. He was the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals's (PDSA) first search and rescue dog, and the first of twelve Dickin winners who were buried at their cemetery in Ilford, Essex. (Image via.)

    Does anyone have photographs of the cemetery in Ilford?

    Does anyone have a list of the Dickin winners who are buried in Ilford?
  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

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