Our BVP2017 group has officially returned home as of late last night. In the hustle and bustle of the program, we had to skip a few regular social media posts that have been favourites of our followers, especially #MascotMondays.
In the early hours of 19 August 1942, from the beaches of Dieppe, Canadian forces released the carrier pigeon “Beachcomber“, who was entrusted with the delivery of an important message to England. Taking flight with blazing speed through hazardous conditions, including one of the largest aerial dogfights of the war, Beachcomber safely reached England, informing higher command that the Canadians had landed at Dieppe. In March 1944, the English People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals awarded Beachcomber the Dickin Medal, (awarded to animals who displayed conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in military service).
Beachcomber remains the only Canadian pigeon, and one of only three Canadian service animals, to be awarded the Dickin Medal.
The official citation reads:
Pigeon – NPS.41.NS.4230
Date of Award: 6 March 1944
“For bringing the first news to this country of the landing at Dieppe, under hazardous conditions in September, 1942, while serving with the Canadian Army.”
For more information on the Dickin Medal and the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, visit https://www.pdsa.org.uk/