A Dickin medal awarded to a pigeon for its service during WW2 was the star of a recent sale at Holloway’s Auctioneers.
Yes, you did read that right.
The award was first dreamt up in 1943, by People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) founder Maria Dickin.
The PDSA started awarding the medal to animals in the 1940s
It’s not a blanket honour for all animals serving in the armed forces (although it was awarded posthumously to the animals that died in the first world war).
Instead it’s only awarded to animals that show remarkable gallantry.
In all 69 animals have received the medal between its inception and the present day. The most recent medal was awarded in November 2017, to a dog named Mali that worked with the SAS in Iraq in 2012.
This present specimen was awarded to a pigeon named Princess in May 1946, for delivering sensitive documents between Alexandria and Crete.
Carrier pigeons were an essential method of passing information during the second world war and were used up until the mid-1950s.
Princess’ medal achieved £7,200 ($9,607) in the December 12 sale.
The record for a Dickin medal stands at £24,250 ($32,357), set for one awarded to a dog named Rip that helped locate people trapped in rubble during the London Blitz.
We have a signed photograph of Britain’s wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, for sale.
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