Culture

Remembering The Brave Animals Who Also Served #VEDay

The PDSA Dickin Medal

The PDSA Dickin Medal

VE Day, 8th of May, is a time to remember a hard won peace in Europe. A time to remember the many military and civilians who were killed and injured.

It is also a time to remember the many animals who were used in military and civilian service.

The animals’ Victoria Cross –the PDSA Dickin Medal – recognises outstanding acts of gallantry and devotion to duty displayed by animals serving with the Armed Forces or Civil Defence units in theatres of war.

Rip – The ‘World’s first Search and Rescue dog’

Rip, a crossbreed terrier, is often referred to as the ‘World’s first Search and Rescue dog’. He was found on the streets of London by a local Air Raid Warden in 1940.

Rip Civil Defence rescue dog during the Blitz

Rip Civil Defence rescue dog during the Blitz

He had a talent for sniffing out survivors trapped in the blitz rubble and despite never receiving formal training, in just twelve months he helped save the lives of more than 100 people.

Rip with his handler Mr. King hero dog of WW2

Rip with his handler Mr. King

Rip was awarded his PDSA Dickin Medal in 1945.

Duke of Normandy (Pigeon No. NURP 41. SBC 219)

Allied paratroopers from the 21st Army Group were dropped behind enemy lines days before D-Day. After their mission ran into numerous problems, the only way to get a message back was a pigeon named Duke of Normandy.

The Duke of Normandy hero pigeon WW2

His journey home – through bullets and bombs – took almost 27 hours. But he delivered critical intelligence to the Allied Command – and saved many lives.

Duke of Normandy received his PDSA Dickin Medal on 8 January 1947.

Brian – a parachuting dog

Brian DM also known as 'Bing' hero dog WW2

Brian DM also known as ‘Bing’

A ‘qualified paratrooper’, Brian (also known as Bing) served with the 13th Battalion Airborne Regiment during WWII. As the D-Day landings began, Brian was parachuted into  Normandy and fought side-by-side with his human allies. He also took part in the final airborne assault of the war.

'Para dog' Brian (Bing) receives his PDSA Dickin Medal accompanied by his owner Mrs Betty Fetch

‘Para dog’ Brian (Bing) receives his PDSA Dickin Medal accompanied by his owner Mrs Betty Fetch

Brian was presented with his PDSA Dickin Medal in March 1947.

To read the full stories of these amazing animal heroes and more download the free PDSA Dickin Medal e-books at: www.pdsa.org.uk/VE

2 replies »

  1. Nice to see someone remembering the animals on VE day. I always think if people consider that the pigeon has saved lives, perhaps they might stop being so mean to them…

    Like

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