A short film about World War II carrier pigeon and Dickin Medal winner, Gustav, will be shown in the Short Film Corner at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May.
The RPRA was approached last year by Dennis Da Silva of film-makers ArtHertz in London, who were looking to film the story of the famous bird that delivered the first message of the landings on the Normandy beaches on D-Day.
General Manager Stewart Wardrop passed Dennis on to Russell Bradford of Wellingborough, who a few years previously had been involved in making the film that is on a permanent loop in the pigeon exhibition at Bletchley Park.
Russell’s pigeons are lookalikes of Gustav, and were used as doubles in the filming. He told us: “The guy came up from London with a film crew and actor and filmed at my lofts again; also the pigeon release I did at Bletchley on Enigma Day [in September], and I went down to London with pigeons and showed an actor how to release several birds under the guns on HMS Belfast in the Pool of London as part of the film.”
Gustav himself is seen above left with fellow Dickin Medal winner Paddy who received the award for bringing home the fastest recorded message from the Normandy operations.