The Dickin Medal is an honor bestowed upon animals who displays prominent devotion and gallantry while fulfilling their responsibilities or duty. This popular award was introduced by the founding member of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals – Mrs Maria Dickin. This is also the only award which was restricted to the animal Kingdom. The statics’ indicate that between the years of 1943-1949, the medal was awarded to around 54 animals who has displayed chivalry and has served the mankind by an act of enormous gallantry and devotion. The recipients included one cat, three horses, 18 dogs and 32 pigeons.
The most prominent pigeon who received the award was ‘White Vision’, for carrying and delivering an important message under extremely difficult scenario and the bird also helped in rescuing an aircraft in 1943, October as a part of RAF mission. White vision is estimated to have flown across heavy seas (60 miles) fighting against winds at 25 miles/hour.Some of the Dickin medal winners other than White Vision:Winkie: He was bred in Whitburn by AR Colley and was bestowed the award for delivering an important information under extremely difficult conditions which helped in rescuing an aircrew.
Another pigeon, George (Tyke) belonged to Middle East Pigeon Service received the award for being a messenger to RAF and rescuing an aircrew as a part of service.The wars employed pigeons to carry news or messages across the military troop’s camp to the war front. Once the pigeons, arrived their destination the wires were used to give indication or information to the soldiers and they would retrieve the message from the bird and telegraph it to the required destination. Sometimes even a personal messenger or wired phones were used too. These pigeons job nature was immensely dangerous as many at times, they would be spotted and shot down.
Read also: The Pigeons of the Trafalgar square.