The Dickin Medal: Courageous Animals Who Have Served for Canada

The Dickin Medal 

The PDSA Dickin Medal was created by Maria Dickin, a social reformer and animal welfare pioneer, to award animals for his or her courageous acts throughout wartime. It’s acknowledged worldwide because the animals’ Victoria Cross. Solely 60 animals have obtained the Dickin Medal: 32 pigeons, 31 canines, three horses, and one cat. 

The Dickin Medal acknowledges “excellent acts of bravery or devotion to responsibility displayed by animals.” The medal reads: “For Gallantry” and “We additionally Serve.” It excluded any animals from the First World Conflict as a result of it was instituted in 1943. Nevertheless, in 2014, the struggle horse Warrior was chosen to signify the position that all animals performed within the First World Conflict and was awarded the one Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal so far.  

Warrior the Horse 

Warrior was the horse of Captain Jack Seely in the course of the First World Conflict. Seely and Warrior served all through all the struggle, from 1914 to 1918. They survived a few of the struggle’s bloodiest and most well-known battles: Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele and Cambrai. Seely and Warrior led males of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade in lots of battles, together with the Battle of Moreuil Wooden, one of many final main assaults to finish the struggle. Warrior survived quite a few near-death assaults that ought to have ended his life. Seely as soon as mentioned that the primary time they rode into battle, Warrior didn’t flip and attempt to run away: “He was pretending to be courageous and succeeded in his job.” 

It was Warrior’s nice bravery and power that led him to be the consultant for all animals who served within the First World Conflict. 

Learn extra about Warrior’s story, right here. 

Gander the Canine 

A canine named “Pal” is now remembered as considered one of Canada’s most notable animals to serve in the course of the Second World Conflict. 

He was welcomed to the Royal Rifles of Canada and accepted as their new mascot, and since they had been stationed on the Gander Airport in Newfoundland, they renamed him “Gander.”  

In the course of the Second World Conflict, the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers had been despatched out to assist defend the British colony of Hong Kong from invasion by Japanese forces who had wished to seize China.  

Sergeant Gander helped the Royal Rifles on three events. Twice Gander’s assaults halted the enemy’s advance and guarded teams of wounded troopers. Within the final, Gander was killed in a ultimate act of loyalty and bravado, choosing up a grenade thrown at Canadian troops, operating with it towards the enemy. Sergeant Gander saved the lives of a number of wounded troopers, and with out his intervention many extra lives would have been misplaced. 

After the struggle, Sergeant Gander was commemorated with the Dickin Medal, and is listed on the Hong Kong Veterans Memorial in Ottawa. Statues of Gander and his handler had been unveiled in Gander Heritage Memorial Park in Gander, Newfoundland in July 2015. 

Learn extra about Gander’s story. 

Learn extra tales of animals in struggle on our weblog. 

Study extra about Canadian navy mascots right here. 

Credit score: Canada. Dept. of Nationwide Defence/Library and Archives Canada/


soldiers on ship
Credit score: Canada. Dept. of Nationwide Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-166999



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