Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Medal for Animal Gallantry

The Dickin Medal

Maria Elisabeth Dickin was a British social reformer and animal welfare pioneer who founded the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in 1917 to provide care for the animals of the poor.  During the Second World War, the PDSA established the “Dickin Medal” (1943) to recognize animals that displayed "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units".  The medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949 and twelve times since 1949.

Some of the recipients include: (1) Rob, a mongrel who served in North Africa and made over twenty parachute jumps, (2) GI Joe, an American carrier pigeon who flew twenty miles in twenty minutes just in time to prevent a friendly fire incident, (3) Beauty, a terrier who helped dig out sixty-three people from under the rubble of a bombing raid in London, and (4) Simon, a ship’s cat who, although wounded continued to hunt rats and protect the crew’s food supply throughout a siege in 1949 along the Yangtze River in China.

The United States has no medal for animal gallantry.

Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Civil War

A brief look at love, sex, and marriage in the Civil War. The book covers courtship, marriage, birth control and pregnancy, divorce, slavery and the impact of the war on social customs.

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