RPRA President Les Blacklock and his wife Meryl attended the annual remembrance gathering at the National Animals in War Memorial, Brook Gate, Park Lane, London, when 27 animal charities and organisations were present.
Following a one minute’s silence, Cath Bourg from the Pet Plan Charitable Trust announced that this year marked the 80th anniversary of the first award of the PDSA Dickin Medal – 38 dogs have received the award, 32 pigeons, 4 horses and 1 cat. Cath invited five speakers to the memorial steps, to relate an example of how animals were awarded the Dickin Medal.
These speakers were Brough Scott MBE, broadcaster and journalist, plus representatives from the PDSA, Royal Army Veterinary College, RAF Dog Inspectorate, and the RPRA’s own Mike Armitage, representing pigeons in war. Mike spoke with passion about the humble pigeon, and related the exploits of White Vision in helping to save a downed aircraft crew.
There then followed the laying of over 30 wreaths, after which Mike Armitage was invited to step forward and release two white pigeons, assisted by the Director of the PDSA.
Les would like to thank all concerned for organising and taking part in this year’s event.