Maria Dickin CBE, founder of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) introduced the Dickin Medal on 2 December 1943, at the height of World War II. It is designed to mark outstanding acts of bravery, loyalty and diligence displayed by animals in wartime. It is often referred to as 'the Animal VC' and has been awarded in many conflicts since its inception.
Sixty-three animals have won the Dickin Medal, the highest award for animal bravery. Their inspiring stories are told for the first time together in one book, The Animal Victoria Cross.
Four types of animal have been honoured: dogs, horses, pigeons and one cat. Simon, the feline, is credited with saving an entire ships crew. Canine breeds include Alsatians, Terriers, Collies and Spaniels. The majority of awards were related to war service and the conflicts include the Second World War, Korea, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. The Al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers as well as the Blitz saw great courage exhibited by animals such as Rip, the dog who saved many lives.
In addition to British animals, there are American, Canadian, Australian and Egyptian winners of this unique award.
This delightful book will be treasured by animal lovers everywhere. It is ideal to dip into or read from cover to cover.
'This book will be treasured by animal lovers everywhere. It's ideal to dip into, perhaps with a familiar furry friend at your feet'. Julian Stockwin
'Book commemorates animal war heroes for outstanding loyalty, bravery and courage'. Daily Mirror
'From the Alsatian who dragged his drowning handler to safety to the pigeon that saved a bomber crew, new book honours animal war heroes'. Daily Mail
- Author: Peter Hawthorne
- Softback: 158 pages
- ISBN: 9781526756664
- First published 25 April 2019