01529 304273 - [email protected]

Hero Dogs

Hero Dogs

The PDSA awards two different types of medals the Dickin medal for service dogs and the gold award for bravery for civilian dogs.

The PDSA Dickin Medal, recognised as the animals’ Victoria Cross, is awarded to animals displaying conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units. The PDSA Dickin Medal is the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict.

The Medal, which can only be considered on receipt of an official commendation, has been awarded 64 times since 1943. The recipients comprised 32 pigeons, 28 dogs, three horses and one cat.

The PDSA Gold Medal is the highest honour for outstanding animal bravery and exceptional dedication in civilian life. Eligibility is open to any animal instrumental in saving human or animal life when its own life is in jeopardy or to any animal killed or seriously injured while carrying out official duties in the face of armed and violent opposition.

The Medal bears a depiction of a laurel wreath and the words: For Gallantry or devotion to duty’. Instituted in 2002, the Medal is now widely recognised as the animals’ George Cross.

To date all 19 recipients awarded the PDSA Gold Medal have been dogs. Each of these canine heroes has proven that they are indeed man’s best friend.

Below are the stories of the recipients of the Dickin medal, followed by the Gold Award. Information correct as of November 2012.

To me some of the assignments to Dickin or gold award are a little arbitrary, with in one case guide dogs being awarded a Dickin medal and a dog serving on board a military vessel (albeit a Norwegian one) a Gold Award. But whatever the award these animals received, they deserve recognition for their work and sacrifice on our behalf. If anyone can add details about any of these brave dogs, please let us know.

Dickin medal recipients

Bob – Mongrel

6th Royal West Kent Regt.
Date of Award: 24 March 1944
“For constant devotion to duty with special mention of Patrol work at Green Hill, North Africa, while serving with the 6th Battalion Queens Own Royal West Kent Regt.

Jet – Alsatian
MAP Serving with Civil Defence
Date of Award: 12 January 1945
“For being responsible for the rescue of persons trapped under blitzed buildings while serving with the Civil Defence Services of London.”

Irma -Alsatian

MAP Serving with Civil Defence
Date of Award: 12 January 1945
“For being responsible for the rescue of persons trapped under blitzed buildings while serving with the Civil Defences of London.”

Irma – whose full name was Crumstone Irma – was a German Shepherd who worked tirelessly during the London Blitz during World War Two rescuing more than 20 people – and one cat.

Irma worked with another search and rescue dog known as Psyche and together they located 233 people of which 21 were found alive.It is said that Irma gave a different sounding bark if she had located a dead body or a live trapped person.

Irma, and another Dickin medal-winning dog called Jet ( see previous entry) took part in a parade at the London Victory Celebrations held in Pall Mall, London on 8 June 1946.

Irma’s owner and handler, Mrs Margaret Griffin, was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work in training her dogs and accompanying them on rescue missions.

Beauty – Wire-Haired Terrier
PDSA Rescue Squad
Date of Award: 12 January 1945
“For being the pioneer dog in locating buried air-raid victims while serving with a PDSA Rescue Squad.” Beauty was in an animal rescue squad operated by the PDSA (The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals). Her task was to seek out pets ad their owners in the rubble of bombed buildings. She rescued 63 animals and received her medal in 1945.

Rob – Collie
War Dog No. 471/332 Special Air Service
Date of Award: 22 January 1945
“Took part in landings during North African Campaign with an Infantry unit and later served with a Special Air Unit in Italy as patrol and guard on small detachments lying-up in enemy territory. His presence with these parties saved many of them from discovery and subsequent capture or destruction. Rob made over 20 parachute descents.”

Thorn – Alsatian
MAP Serving with Civil Defence
Date of Award: 2 March 1945
“For locating air-raid casualties in spite of thick smoke in a burning building.”

Rifleman Khan – Alsatian
147. 6th Battalion Cameronians (SR)
Date of Award: 27 March 1945
“For rescuing L/Cpl. Muldoon from drowning under heavy shell fire at the assault of Walcheren, November 1944, while serving with the 6th Cameronians (SR).”

Rex – Alsatian
MAP Civil Defence Rescue Dog
Date of Award: April 1945
“For outstanding good work in the location of casualties in burning buildings. Undaunted by smouldering debris, thick smoke, intense heat and jets of water from fire hoses, this dog displayed uncanny intelligence and outstanding determination in his efforts to follow up any scent which led him to a trapped casualty.”

Sheila – Collie
Date of Award: 2 July 1945
“For assisting in the rescue of four American Airmen lost on the Cheviots in a blizzard after an air crash in December, 1944.”

Rip – Mongrel

Stray picked up by Civil Defence Squad at Poplar, London E14
Date of Award: 1945
“For locating many air-raid victims during the blitz of 1940.”

RIP was  a homeless stray dog who saving the lives of 100 air-raid victims during the Blitz, fetched £24,250 at auction recently, showing how much we still value the memory of these brave dogs.

Peter – Collie
Date of Award: November 1945
“For locating victims trapped under blitzed buildings while serving with the MAP attached to Civil Defence of London.”

Judy – Pedigree Pointer
Date of Award: May 1946
“For magnificent courage and endurance in Japanese prison camps, which helped to maintain morale among her fellow prisoners and also for saving many lives through her intelligence and watchfulness.”

Judy was a liver and white Pointer who was the only animal to have been officially registered as a prisoner of war during the Second World War. She boosted the morale of her fellow prisoners – who believed that if she could survive so could they.

Born in Shanghai in 1937, she was initially given to the Royal Navy to be a ship’s mascot, first on HMS Gnat and then on HMS Grasshopper.In February 1942 her ship was attacked and the surviving crew had to escape to an uninhabited island where Judy dug to reveal a fresh water spring which is credited with saving the lives of the crew.

Later the sailors, with Judy, comandeered a Chinese Junk and managed to sail to Sumatra but close to the end of a 200-mile cross-country trek across the island to reach Padang they unwittingly walked into a Japanese-held village and were captured.The crew smuggled Judy along with them to the Gloergoer prisoner of war camp in Medan. It was here that she met Leading Aircraftman Frank Williams, who adopted her and shared his meagre daily rice ration with her. Judy would often growl and bark to let the prisoners know that Japanese guards were approaching and also to warn the prisoners about dangerous snakes or scorpions.

It was Frank Williams who persuaded the camp Commandant to make Judy an official POW.Judy survived numerous camp moves and diced with death several times in the sea, in the jungle, and at the hands of Japanese guards who pronounced a death sentence on her.

When the war ended and the men were released, Judy had to be smuggled one last time aboard a ship heading to Liverpool.After six months in quarantine, Judy emerged as a national dog heroine and was awarded the Dickin Medal. She became the only canine member of the Returned British POW Association.

Frank and Judy spent the year after the war visiting and comforting the relatives of PoWs who hadn’t survived.On 10 May 1948, Frank went to work on a Government-funded food scheme in East Africa and Judy went with him but after two years she developed a tumour, and had to be put to sleep at the age of 13. Her grave can still be seen in Tanzania

Punch and Judy – Boxer dog and bitch
Date of Awards: November 1946
“These dogs saved the lives of two British Officers in Israel by attacking an armed terrorist who was stealing upon them unawares and thus warning them of their danger. Punch sustained 4 bullet wounds and Judy a long graze down her back.”

On the evening of 5 August 1946, Lieutenant-Colonel A. H. K. Campbell and Lieutenant-Colonel H. G. G. Niven were relaxing at home in a Jerusalem suburb, with their boxer dogs ‘Punch’ and ‘Judy’. The dogs suddenly became aware of intruders within the compound. Racing into the darkness and barking furiously, they were met with a burst of sub-machine gun fire from one or possibly two terrorists within the barb-wire protected perimeter. Apparently the intruders were stealthily creeping towards the house with the intent to kill the officers. The barking and gunfire, alerted the officers, thwarted the attack and thus saved their lives. A search of the compound revealed that ‘Punch’ had been seriously wounded, having been hit by four bullets; and ‘Judy’, with a long graze down her back, was found guarding her brother. Nine expended rounds were later found in the garden. Both dogs made a full recovery from their wounds. The actual awards being made at the Royal Tournament, Olympia, on 14 June 1947.

Ricky – Welsh Collie
Date of Award: 29 March 1947
“This dog was engaged in cleaning the verges of the canal bank at Nederweent, Holland. He found all the mines but during the operation one of them exploded. Ricky was wounded in the head but remained calm and kept at work. Had he become excited he would have been a danger to the rest of the section working nearby.”

Brian – Alsatian
Date of Award: 29 March 1947
“This patrol dog was attached to a Parachute Battalion of the 13th Battalion Airborne Division. He landed in Normandy with them and, having done the requisite number of jumps, became a fully-qualified Paratrooper.”

Antis – Alsatian
Date of Award: 28 January 1949
“Owned by a Czech airman, this dog served with him in the French Air Force and RAF from 1940 to 1945, both in N. Africa and England. Returning to Czechoslovakia after the war, he substantially helped his master’s escape across the frontier when after the death of Jan Masaryk, he had to fly from the Communists.”

Tich – Egyptian Mongrel
1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps
Date of Award: 1 July 1949
“For loyalty, courage and devotion to duty under hazardous conditions of war 1941 to 1945, while serving with the 1st King’s Rifle Corps in North Africa and Italy.”

‘Tich’ was adopted by 1 KRRC during the fighting in the Western Desert in 1941. When the Battalion reached Algiers in 1943, ‘Tich’ was placed in the care of Rifleman Thomas Walker, accompanying him on the front line usually on the bonnet of a Bren gun carrier or stretcher jeep.

During the fighting in Italy Rifleman Walker, a ‘medic’, was awarded the Military Medal for a number of actions in which he either rescued or tended to injured men while under fire. On every occasion ‘Tich’ remained by his side, being wounded on a number of occasions, once very seriously.

Newspaper reports described ‘Tich’ as the brave dog of an outstandingly brave man. In recommending ‘Tich’ for the Dickin Medal, 1 KRRC’s commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel E.A.W. Williams, wrote: ‘Her courage and devotion to duty were of very real and considerable value and her courageous example materially helped many men to keep their heads and sense of proportion in times of extreme danger. The sight of her put heart in the men as she habitually rode on the bonnet of her master’s jeep and refused to leave her post even when bringing in wounded under heavy fire.’
The Battalion’s Chaplain also said of ‘Tich’ that: ‘She can leap on to any type of truck or vehicle, will howl like a wolf, will cry, will remain standing against a wall until told to move. She will also smoke cigarettes, and never eat or drink until ordered to do so by her owner.’

During her life ‘Tich’ gave birth to 15 puppies. After the War she lived with ex-Rifleman Walker in Newcastle, taking part with him in fund-raising activities for PDSA. ‘Tich’ died in 1959 and is buried alongside many other PDSA Dickin Medal recipients in the charity’s pet cemetery at Ilford.

Gander – Newfoundland
Date of Award: awarded posthumously on 27 October 2000
“For saving the lives of Canadian infantrymen during the Battle of Lye Mun on Hong Kong Island in December 1941. On three documented occasions Gander, the Newfoundland mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada engaged the enemy as his regiment joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers, members of Battalion Headquarters ‘C’ Force and other Commonwealth troops in their courageous defence of the Island. Twice Gander’s attacks halted the enemy’s advance and protected groups of wounded soldiers. In a final act of bravery the war dog was killed in action gathering a grenade. Without Gander’s intervention many more lives would have been lost in the assault.”

Gander was the mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada during WW2. They were sent to defend Hong Kong from the advancing Japanese and on one occasion Gander charged at Japanese soldiers approaching wounded Canadians. Then, in December 1941, came the incident that claimed his life. Gander picked up a grenade that landed near a group of soldiers and as he carried it away, it exploded.

Appollo – German Shepherd

Date of Award: 5 March 2002
NYPD dog Appollo received the PDSA Dickin Medal on behalf of all the Search and Rescue dogs at Ground Zero and the Pentagon following the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001.
“For tireless courage in the service of humanity during the search and rescue operations in New York and Washington on and after 11 September 2001.” Faithful to words of command and undaunted by the task, the dogs’ work and unstinting devotion to duty stand as a testament to those lost or injured.”

Salty and Roselle – Labrador Guide dogs
Date of Award: 5 March 2002
“For remaining loyally at the side of their blind owners, courageously leading them down more than 70 floors of the World Trade Center and to a place of safety following the terrorist attack on New York on 11 September 2001.”

Roselle was a Guide Dog who safely led her owner Michael Hingson down 78 flights of stairs at Tower One of the World Trade Centre before it collapsed following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,She died in June 2011 (three month’s before the tenth anniversary of the atrocity) at the age of 13 but was posthumously awarded the title of American Hero Dog – the top honour – at the inaugural American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.

She had been nominated by her owner who described how her calmness and poise saved his life and others. She was not distracted or deterred even when they reached the road and were hit by debris as Tower Two collapsed. Despite all the dust and the panic Roselle found the stairs leading down to the subway system where she led her owner to safety.

Michael said: “All that day Roselle worked flawlessly. She saved my life and truly is the greatest dog hero of all.”

Sam – German Shepherd
Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Date of Award: 14 January 2003
“For outstanding gallantry in April 1998 while assigned to the Royal Canadian Regiment in Drvar during the conflict in Bosnia-Hertzegovina. On two documented occasions Sam displayed great courage and devotion to duty. On 18 April Sam successfully brought down an armed man threatening the lives of civilians and Service personnel. On 24 April, while guarding a compound harbouring Serbian refugees, Sam’s determined approach held off rioters until reinforcements arrived. This dog’s true valour saved the lives of many servicemen and civilians during this time of human conflict.”

Buster – Springer Spaniel

Royal Army Veterinary Corps
Date of Award: 9 December 2003
“For outstanding gallantry in March 2003 while assigned to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in Safwan, Southern Iraq. Arms and explosives search dog Buster located an arsenal of weapons and explosives hidden behind a false wall in a property linked with an extremist group. Buster is considered responsible for saving the lives of service personnel and civilians. Following the find, all attacks ceased and shortly afterwards and troops replaced their steel helmets with berets.”

Lucky: German Shepherd
RAF number 3610 AD: RAF Police anti-terrorist tracker dog – from 1949 to 1952 during the Malaya Campaign
Date of Award: 6 February 2007
“For the outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty of the RAF Police anti-terrorist tracker dog team, comprising Bobbie, Jasper, Lassie and Lucky, while attached to the Civil Police and several British Army regiments including the Coldstream Guards, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Guards and the Ghurkhas during the Malaya Campaign.
Bobbie, Jasper, Lassie and Lucky displayed exceptional determination and life-saving skills during the Malaya Campaign. The dogs and their handlers were an exceptional team, capable of tracking and locating the enemy by scent despite unrelenting heat and an almost impregnable jungle. Sadly, three of the dogs lost their lives in the line of duty: only Lucky survived to the end of the conflict.”

Sadie: Labrador
RAVC arms and explosive search dog – Kabul, Afghanistan in November 2005
Date of Award: 6 February 2007
“For outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty while assigned to the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry during conflict in Afghanistan in 2005. On 14 November 2005 military personnel serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul were involved in two separate attacks. Sadie and Lance Corporal Yardley were deployed to search for secondary explosive devices.
Sadie gave a positive indication near a concrete blast wall and multinational personnel were moved to a safe distance. Despite the obvious danger Sadie and Lance Corporal Yardley completed their search. At the site of Sadie’s indication, bomb disposal operators later made safe an explosive device. The bomb was designed to inflict maximum injury. Sadie’s actions undoubtedly saved the lives of many civilians and soldiers.”

Treo – Labrador
Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Arms and Explosives Search dog
Date of Award: 24 February 2010
On 15 August 2008, while acting as forward protection for 8 Platoon, The Royal Irish Regiment, Treo located a ‘daisy chain’ IED – an improvised explosive device designed to trigger a series of bombs – on a roadside where soldiers were about to pass. It was subsequently confirmed that the device uncovered was new to the area and would have inflicted significant casualties. On 3 and 4 September 2008 Treo’s actions were reported as saving 7 Platoon from guaranteed casualties, again as the result of an IED. Without doubt, Treo’s actions and devotion to his duties, while in the throes of conflict, saved many lives.

The nine-year-old has been awarded the Dickin Medal after a saving the lives of a number of British soldiers by detecting improvised explosive devices in Helmand province.

His handler Sergeant Dave Heyhoe said the dog proved a particularly effective counter-insurgency weapon because of the rapport the pair developed over years of action in Northern Ireland. “I’m very proud indeed, not only for myself and Treo, but it’s for every dog and handler that’s working out in Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said.

. Treo started his career at the Defence Animal Centre, based in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, when he was a year old. He did 12 weeks training before he went to Northern Ireland, where he worked for three years with his first handler before Sgt Heyhoe took over.

Sgt Heyhoe said “Basically, me and the dog have got to get a rapport. We’ve got to understand each other and without that we can’t be effective on the ground. He must know when I want him to go somewhere to search, that’s where he goes. Everyone will say that he is just a military working dog – yes, he is, but he is also a very good friend of mine. We look after each other.”

Theo – Springer Spaniel

Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Arms and Explosives Search dog
Date of Award: awarded posthumously on 25 October 2012
For outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty while deployed with 104 Military Working Dog (MWD) Squadron during conflict in Afghanistan September 2010 to March 2011. Military Working Dog Theo, who died just hours after his handler Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, has been posthumously honoured.

Theo was deployed with LCpl Tasker as part of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps’ 1st Military Working Dog Regiment to Afghanistan in 2010. Their role was to provide search and clearance support, uncovering hidden weapons, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and bomb-making equipment.

During his time in Afghanistan Theo made 14 confirmed operational finds, the most any Arms and Explosives Search dog in Afghanistan has found to date. Theo helped uncover not only hidden explosive devices, but the materials that could be used to make them. During one operation Theo identified two bags of fertiliser and a large quantity of parts intended to make IEDs.

On 1 March 2011, Theo and Lance Corporal Tasker were on a mission in support of the Irish Guards in the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand, when a fire-fight broke out, killing Lance Corporal Tasker. Theo was being taken back to Bastion when he started having seizures. Despite immediate first aid and veterinary treatment he unfortunately died.Theo’s actions saved many other soldiers and innocent civilians from death and serious injury.

Theo’s is the first PDSA Dickin Medal to be presented since 2010.

PDSA Gold award recipients

To date all 19 recipients awarded the PDSA Gold Medal have been dogs. Each of these canine heroes has proven that they are indeed man’s best friend.


Awarded April 2011
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry, despite serious injuries, while carrying out official duties in the face of violent opposition. ‘

Police Dog Anya
German Shepherd
Wiltshire Police Force
Date of award – 06 July 2010
‘For devotion to duty and life-saving bravery in the face of danger, when faced with a knife-wielding assailant, on Thursday 14 January 2008.’

Date of award – 06 July 2010
‘For life-saving bravery and determined devotion to his owner and family, when alerting them to a house fire on Friday 30 May 2008.’

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Date of posthumous award – 06 July 2010
‘For lifesaving bravery and courageous devotion to her family in the face of armed assailants on the 18 June 2008.’

Date of posthumous award – 11 February 2009
‘For bravery and devotion when protecting the lives of five children in him home town of Manaia, North Island, New Zealand, when they were threatened by two Pit Bull Terriers.’

On Sunday 29 April 2007, George, a 14 year-old Jack Russell terrier was walking with his neighbour’s children when they were approached from behind by two Pit Bull Terriers.The dogs were loose and moving quickly towards one of the younger children. George, who had been walking ahead of the group, turned around and faced the Pit Bulls. The brave little Terrier ran at the dogs, barking all the time as they closed in on him. Thanks to George’s intervention the children were able to escape but they could do nothing to help the dog that had saved them.

Reluctantly, due to the trauma George had suffered, George’s owner, Alan Gay, agreed to have George put to sleep.George’s bravery in the face of danger and his determination to protect the safety of his young friends prevented serious injury and potentially saved the lives of all five children.

Date of award – 28 July 2009
‘For life-saving devotion when pensioner Mark Corrie was missing for two days on the Cumbrian Fells.’

On Saturday 12 August 2006, 73 year-old Mark Corrie took his daughter’s dog, Bosnich (Bos), for their regular walk in Gelt Woods near Brampton in Cumbria. But when he failed to return by the expected time, Mark’s daughter, Lorna Farish, called the police. For two days police search dogs and volunteers from mountain rescue teams scoured the district for man and dog, but without success.
Local walkers Susan and Jim Burns and Sheila and Fred Brown decided to investigate a dog howling on the south side of Cumrew Fell, some seven miles from Brampton. At the top of the first ridge, they spotted Bos whose howl changed to a persistent bark. Bos led them to where Mark Corrie was lying. He was cold, confused and suffering from dehydration, but miraculously unhurt.
Bos stayed at Mark Corrie’s side as they waited for the emergency services.
Penrith Mountain Rescue Team praised Bos for his actions and said that without the dog keeping the pensioner warm and his determined howling and barking Mark Corrie might not have been found.

Date of award – 19 December 2007
‘For gallantry and life-saving devotion on 19 December 2005 while out walking near him home in Kirkwall on Orkney.’

On the morning of Monday 19 December, devoted pet dog Ghillie was enjoying a morning stroll on the local bridle path with his owner’s mother, Mary Wilson, when Mrs Wilson suddenly collapsed. Seeing her lying unconscious, Ghillie wasted no time in running for help. His constant barking attracted the attention of a team of engineers from Scottish and Southern Energy, who realised the dog was determined to show them something. Following Ghillie along the path the men discovered Mary lying unconscious, but breathing, next to a ditch. Mary was carefully transferred to Balfour Hospital where, happily, she made a full recovery. Ghillie’s determination to gain help for Mary after her fall secured her rescue and undoubtedly saved her life.

British Transport Police
Date of award – 3 July 2007
‘For gallantry in the service of humanity, immediately following the terrorist attacks on London on Thursday 7 July 2005.’

Vinnie and his handler, PC Dave Coleman, were already on duty in the City when they were urgently deployed to the terrorist explosion at Russell Square tube station. Vinnie immediately began a search for secondary explosive devices in order to establish a clear and safe route for medical assistance to reach the many casualties. Overcoming choking smoke and poor visibility, Vinnie then searched the mile-long route from Russell Square to the bomb-damaged train at Kings Cross and completed a reoccupation search of Kings Cross station.

Despite the horrendous devastation and human trauma, Vinnie did not hesitate in carrying out his duties. His skills and tireless devotion to duty were instrumental in restoring public safety and he proved invaluable throughout this tragic event.

City of London Police
Date of award – 3 July 2007
‘For gallantry in the service of humanity, immediately following the terrorist attacks on London on Thursday 7 July 2005.’

Billy and his handler, PC Rob Brydon-Brown, were deployed to what they believed to be a train crash at Aldgate tube station. They were met by a sea of casualties and from the nature of the injuries it was clear that there had been an explosion.

Billy was tasked to secure the scene by searching the length of the underground tunnel. Despite immense heat and poor visibility, Billy remained constant to his duties and did not falter.Billy remained on call throughout the day and attended 21 locations in response to alerts from the public. Working tirelessly and in the face of danger, his skills and determination to protect the public and the emergency services proved invaluable throughout this tragic event.
Hubble Keck
Metropolitan Police
Date of award – 3 July 2007
‘For gallantry in the service of humanity, immediately following the terrorist attacks on London on Thursday 7 July 2005.’
Hubble Keck, affectionately known as Jake, and his handler, PC Robert Crawford, were deployed to Tavistock Square, where casualties needed urgent attention after a bomb explosion on a double-decker bus.

Jake immediately began a search of the street leading to the bus. Working through shattered glass and twisted metal, he secured a safe route for an explosives officer to investigate a suspect device on the bus and for paramedics to reach injured passengers. Jake also then secured an area close to the bus to enable a makeshift field hospital to treat casualties.Jake was later redeployed to search the mile-long route from Russell Square to the bomb-damaged train at Kings Cross and then to search through the wrecked train.

Despite significant danger, Jake worked tirelessly and remained undaunted by the work presented to him. His skill, control and unstinting devotion to duty protected members of the public and the emergency services from harm, and his presence proved invaluable throughout this tragic event.

WWII ship’s mascot
Date of posthumous award – 22 July 2006
‘For saving the life of two members of the crew of Royal Norwegian Navy minesweeper, The Thorodd, and for his unstinting devotion to duty as ship’s mascot during WWII.’

In the winter of 1941, Lieutenant Commander Olav August Johan Nilsen was walking along the dockside in Dundee when he was set upon by a man wielding a knife. Bamse, who was accompanying the Lieutenant, immediately ran towards the assailant, knocking him into the water. Witnesses confirmed that it was Bamse’s decisive and effective action which saved Lieutenant Commander Nilsen’s life.

On an autumn morning in 1942, Bamse was on duty aboard Thorodd, again docked in Dundee. He was the only crew member to see a sailor fall overboard and, realising the danger, he tried to alert other crew members by barking loudly. When no help arrived, Bamse overcame his fear of heights and water to dive into the cold and murky sea. He swam towards the distressed sailor, who clung to Bamse’s thick coat, and brought the man safely to the dockside. Had Bamse not acted so quickly and with such calm efficiency, the sailor, who could not swim, would have drowned.

Search and Rescue
Date of award – 27 June 2006
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty, while carrying out official duties with the Northern Ireland Search and Rescue Dog Association.’

In March 1999, Dylan saved the lives of four students lost for several hours on the mountains of Mourne. Despite exceptionally poor weather conditions, Dylan located the group stranded on a ledge 250 feet above ground level. He stayed on duty until the rescue team had lifted everyone to safety.

Later, in November 1999, Dylan worked in Duzce as part of the UK Fire Service Search and Rescue team and the International Rescue Corps following the earthquake in Turkey. Dylan located two people buried alive in the rubble. Crawling between floors, climbing ladders and spanning dangerous voids, this dog never wavered from his duties.

Search and Rescue
Date of award – 27 June 2006
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty, while carrying out official duties with the Northern Ireland Search and Rescue Dog Association.’ Cracker, Dylan’s brother ( see above entry) was also part of the 1999 Turkish earthquake search team locating bodies trapped in the debris. His ability to locate the deceased gave families the opportunity to pay their last respects to loved ones.

Cracker is the only dog in the UK trained to locate bodies in water. His skills have helped locate four people, bringing closure and peace of mind to grieving families.

Cleveland Police
Date of award – 5 April 2006
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry, despite serious injuries, while carrying out official duties in the face of violent opposition.’

On 14 April 2005 Zoltan and his handler Police Constable Andrew Lawton were called to join the Armed Response Unit at an incident in Stockton where a man was threatening police officers and members of the public with a knife.Officers had repeatedly attempted to calm the situation and disarm the man before deploying Zoltan. The police dog’s determined efforts were very effective but resulted in Zoltan being stabbed in the chest. The distraction this created resulted in the assailant being disarmed and taken into custody.

Zoltan sustained an eight-inch stab wound to his chest and underwent emergency surgery to repair two damaged arteries and a severed chest muscle. During the operation he lost one-fifth of his blood. Zoltan went on to make a full recovery and soon returned to active duty.
West Yorkshire Police
Date of award – 5 April 2006
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry, despite serious injuries, while carrying out official duties in the face of violent opposition.’

On 8 March 2005, police dog Blue and his handler Police Constable David Proctor were called to assist in the search of a wooded area near Wakefield for a violent suspect wanted for theft.

A short time after they started the search, officers observing from the police helicopter reported that Blue had located the suspect but had been attacked with a knife. Despite sustaining severe injuries, Blue continued to do his duty. He followed the man to his hideout and stood guard until PC Proctor and a colleague arrived. He then assisted in the disarming and arrest of the suspect, continuing his diligent surveillance until the man was placed in a police vehicle.

Blue sustained two deep stab wounds in his left shoulder but never wavered from his duties. His actions resulted in the detention of an armed offender and he defused a volatile situation that could have resulted in the loss of human life.

Canine Partner
Date of award – 5 April 2006
‘For saving the life of him owner, Cheryl Alexander, through exceptional devotion to duty.’

On 18 May 2003, University student Cheryl Smith and her Golden Retriever Orca were enjoying an afternoon in the countryside. Orca was running, as he always did, alongside Cheryl’s wheelchair.Suddenly, the powered wheelchair hit a rock on the pathway and pitched Cheryl sideways down a 15-foot embankment into a water-filled ditch. The wheelchair followed, landing directly on top of Cheryl who was pinned, face-down in the cold rainwater and unable to move.

Cheryl knew she was in a desperate situation. Trained to stay by Cheryl’s side, Orca remained on guard duty until Cheryl instructed him to “get help”.The first person Orca approached mistook him for a lost dog and attempted to walk him home. Breaking free of his collar, Orca ran on and, by chance, met Cheryl’s neighbour, Peter Harrison out jogging. Peter could tell Orca was trying to encourage him to follow the canal path and as he followed the dog, Peter saw Cheryl lying in the ditch.Orca took his place at Cheryl’s side as Mr Harrison called the Fire Brigade for emergency assistance. The rescue services confirmed that Orca’s remarkable skills, and unstinting devotion that day saved Cheryl’s life.

Canine Partner
Date of award – 13 November 2002
‘For saving the life of his owner, Allen Parton, through exceptional devotion to duty.’

When Allen – a naval engineer – suffered brain injuries in a car accident during the Gulf War in 1991, he could not walk, was unable to speak, read, write or remember any aspect of his life. A chance introduction to Endal changed his future as Endal became the inspiration and motivation behind Allen’s rehabilitation.

Endal became Allen’s partner in the home, on the street and at work and he rekindled Allen’s enthusiasm for life. On 24 May 2001, Endal carried out one outstanding act of devotion. Allen was knocked out of his wheelchair in a hotel car park and left unconscious on the ground. Endal did not panic. Instead, he calmly manoeuvred Allen into the recovery position, covered him with a blanket from the wheelchair and pushed the mobile to Allen’s face. Only when Allen regained consciousness did Endal leave his side to summon help.

Metpol Delta Monty
Metropolitan Police
Date of award – 12 November 2002
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry, despite serious injuries, while carrying out official duties in the face of violent opposition.’

Monty was instrumental in overpowering a man who had been wielding a knife and threatening his handler PC Stuart Judd. Monty was stabbed several times by his attacker but continued to do his duty.Monty required emergency surgery after the event in February 2001 but just weeks later was ready to resume active duty.
Leicestershire Police
Date of posthumous award – 12 November 2002
‘For displaying outstanding gallantry in the line of police duty, and in the face of violent opposition.’

Bulla – a Leicestershire police dog – was killed in the line of duty in May 1990. He was apprehending a man brandishing a butcher’s knife and threatening civilians and police officers. Sadly Bulla was stabbed through the neck and into the heart. Despite all efforts to save him, Bulla died at the scene.