|Resting place||PDSA's pet cemetery in Ilford, Essex|
|Employer||King's Royal Rifle Corps|
Tich (1940–1959) was a mixed-breed military dog during the Second World War. She was awarded the Dickin Medal in 1949 for her actions during the war as a battalion mascot to the King's Royal Rifle Corps. The Dickin Medal is considered to be the animal's Victoria Cross. After the war she lived with her battalion handler at his home in the UK. After she died she was buried in the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA)'s Ilford Animal Cemetery.
The PDSA Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 in the United Kingdom by Maria Dickin to honour the work of animals in World War II. It is a bronze medallion, bearing the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve" within a laurel wreath, carried on a ribbon of striped green, dark brown, and pale blue. It is awarded to animals that have displayed "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units". The award is commonly referred to as "the animals' Victoria Cross".
The King's Royal Rifle Corps was an infantry rifle regiment of the British Army that was originally raised in British North America as the Royal American Regiment during the phase of the Seven Years' War in North America known as 'The French and Indian War.' Subsequently numbered the 60th Regiment of Foot, the regiment served for more than 200 years throughout the British Empire. In 1958, the regiment joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and the Rifle Brigade in the Green Jackets Brigade and in 1966 the three regiments were formally amalgamated to become the Royal Green Jackets. The KRRC became the 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets. On the disbandment of 1/RGJ in 1992, the RGJ's KRRC battalion was redesignated as 1/RGJ, eventually becoming 2/RIFLES in 2007.
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.
During the fighting in the Western Desert Campaign during the Second World War in 1941, a small cross-breed dog was found by soldiers of the 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps. Named "Tich" and nicknamed "The Desert Rat",she acted as a mascot to the Battalion. In 1943, the dog was passed to Rifleman Thomas Walker. The dog accompanied Walker whilst on the front line, riding usually on the bonnet of a bren gun carrier or a jeep.
The Western Desert Campaign, took place in the deserts of Egypt and Libya and was the main theatre in the North African Campaign during the Second World War. The campaign began in September 1940 with the Italian invasion of Egypt; Operation Compass, a British five-day raid in December 1940, led to the destruction of the Italian 10th Army. Benito Mussolini sought help from Adolf Hitler, who responded with a small German force sent to Tripoli under Directive 22. The German Afrika Korps was under nominal Italian command but Italian dependency on Nazi Germany made it the dominant partner.
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In 1944, she was smuggled aboard the ship that took the battalion to Italy and whilst on board had puppies.Walker was awarded the Military Medal for his work as a battlefield medic whilst under fire. On each occasion where he was in danger, Tich remained by his side. 1KRRC's commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel E.A.W. Williams recommended Tich for the Dickin Medal stating, "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 Dickin Medal is considered to be the animal's Victoria Cross.
The Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other arms of the armed forces, and to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land. The award was established in 1916, with retrospective application to 1914, and was awarded to other ranks for "acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire". The award was discontinued in 1993 when it was replaced by the Military Cross, which was extended to all ranks, while other Commonwealth nations instituted their own award systems in the post war period.
Her Dickin Medal was dated 1 July 1949, with it being awarded to her by Major Peter Earle, MC, on 3 September 1949 at Wembley in front of eight thousand people during the Animals' Rally.Her citation reads, "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."
The Dickin Medal is often referred to as the animal metaphorical equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Tich gave birth to fifteen puppies during her life, and lived after the war with Walker at his home in Newcastle, England. Together they took part in fundraising activities for the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, the issuing body for the Dickin Medal.She died in 1959, and was buried at the PDSA's Ilford Animal Cemetery where several other Dickin Medal holders are interred. Her Dickin Medal was passed into the hands of the Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum in Winchester.
Newcastle upon Tyne, commonly known as Newcastle, is a city in Tyne and Wear, North East England, 103 miles (166 km) south of Edinburgh and 277 miles (446 km) north of London on the northern bank of the River Tyne, 8.5 mi (13.7 km) from the North Sea. Newcastle is the most populous city in the North East, and forms the core of the Tyneside conurbation, the eighth most populous urban area in the United Kingdom. Newcastle is a member of the UK Core Cities Group and is a member of the Eurocities network of European cities.
The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) is a veterinary charity in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1917 by Maria Dickin to provide care for sick and injured animals of the poor. It is the UK's leading veterinary charity, carrying out more than one million free veterinary consultations a year, and was up to 2009 the largest private employer of fully qualified veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK but you can only use the services of this national charity if you live in one of their catchment areas.
Ilford Animal Cemetery is an animal cemetery in Ilford in London, England, United Kingdom that contained over three thousand burials. It was founded in the 1920s and is operated by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. The cemetery was closed to new burials in the 1960s and gradually became neglected and overgrown. In the early twenty-first century it was restored with the assistance of a £50,000 grant from the National Lottery. Headstones were repaired or replaced, the entrance gate was repaired, the graves were numbered and a visitor's map was created. The cemetery re-opened in 2007 with a ceremony that included a performance of the Last Post by a bugler from the King's Royal Rifle Corps and a pigeon fly-past. It was attended by two holders of the PDSA Gold Medal, Jake and Endal. Also present was Commander Stuart Hett, who had been an officer aboard HMS Amethyst and had been tasked with responding to the many letters received by the ship's heroic cat, Simon, who is buried at Ilford.
The PDSA Gold Medal is an animal bravery award that acknowledges the bravery and devotion to duty of animals. It was created by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in 2001, and is now recognised as the animal equivalent of the George Cross. An animal can be awarded the PDSA Gold Medal if it assists in saving human or non-human life when its own life is in danger or through exceptional devotion to duty. The medal can also be awarded to animals in public service, such as police or rescue dogs, if the animal dies or suffers serious injury while carrying out its official duties in the face of armed and violent opposition.
Sadie,, a black Labrador Retriever, is a recipient of the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. She was awarded for detecting an explosive device outside the United Nations headquarters in Kabul in November 2005, and was awarded by the Princess Alexandra on 6 February 2007. Her handler at the time of the action which resulted in the award was Lance Corporal Karen Yardley.
Sam was an army dog who served with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Dog Unit. While serving in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s, Sam helped to apprehend an armed man and also to hold back an armed mob besieging a compound where Serbs were taking refuge. He received the Dickin Medal, the animals' equivalent of the Victoria Cross, in 2003 for these acts of bravery.
Gander was a Newfoundland dog posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, the "animals' VC", in 2000 for his deeds in World War II, the first such award in over 50 years.
Crumstone Irma, a.k.a. Irma, was a German Shepherd Dog who assisted in the rescue of 191 people trapped under blitzed buildings while serving with London's Civil Defence Services during the Second World War. During this period she worked with her handler and owner, Mrs Margaret Griffin, and another dog named Psyche. Noted for her ability to tell if buried victims were dead or alive, she was awarded the Dickin Medal in 1945, and is buried at the PDSA Animal Cemetery, Ilford.
Rip, a mixed-breed terrier, was a Second World War search and rescue dog who was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1945. He was found in Poplar, London, in 1940 by an Air Raid warden, and became the service's first search and rescue dog. He is credited with saving the lives of over 100 people. He was the first of twelve Dickin Medal winners to be buried in the PDSA's cemetery in Ilford, Essex.
The PDSA Certificate for Animal Bravery or Devotion is an animal bravery award that acknowledges the extraordinary bravery and devotion to duty of animals. It was created by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in 2001. So far all of the recipients have been dogs except for Dotty, a donkey.
Beauty, a wirehaired terrier, was a Second World War search and rescue dog considered to be the first rescue dog, who was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1945. She is among a number of Dickin Medal winners who are buried in Ilford Animal Cemetery.
Peter (1941–1952) was a collie dog who in 1945 was awarded the Dickin Medal, considered to be the Victoria Cross for animals. During the later stages of the Second World War he served as a search and rescue dog in London. He attended the 1946 Civil Defence Stand–Down parade, where he was presented to the King and Queen, and Princess Elizabeth. His medal was auctioned in 2000 for £4,600 (US$6,964).
Theo DM (2009–2011), was an English Springer Spaniel who served as a bomb detection dog for the British Army whilst stationed in Afghanistan. His handler, Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, was killed in March 2011, and Theo died within hours, following a seizure. The pair had set a new record for bomb finds during their time on deployment. Theo was awarded the Dickin Medal, also known as the animals' Victoria Cross, in 2012.
Bob was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in 1944 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Second World War.
Thorn was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in 1945 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Second World War.
Sheila was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in 1945 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Second World War. She is the first non-military dog to have received the medal, which was later sold at auction alongside the medals of her owner, John Dagg, for £25,300 by Sotheby's.
Punch and Judy were a pair of dogs who received the Dickin Medal from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service in Israel in 1946. The commendation notes: "saved the lives of two British Officers... [by warning them of and] attacking an armed terrorist who was stealing upon them unawares." Both dogs were severely wounded.
Ricky was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in 1947 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Second World War.
Bing was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in 1947 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Second World War.
Rex was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in April, 1945 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Second World War. This MAP Civil Defence Rescue Dog performed “outstanding good work" finding casualties "in burning buildings." Rex intrepidly worked in a harsh environment of "smouldering debris, thick smoke, intense heat and jets of water" using a rare combination of determination and intelligence to follow scents to those who were trapped.
Lucky was a dog who received the Dickin Medal in 2007 from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals for bravery in service during the Malayan Emergency.