Tich (dog)

Last updated
Tich
Species Dog
Breed Mixed-breed dog
Sex Female
Born 1940
Died 1959
Resting place PDSA's pet cemetery in Ilford, Essex
Nation from Flag of Egypt.svg Egyptian
Employer King's Royal Rifle Corps
Awards Dickin Medal

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.

Dickin Medal Bravery award given to animals

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".

Kings Royal Rifle Corps infantry rifle regiment of the British Army

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.

Victoria Cross highest military decoration awarded for valour in armed forces of various Commonwealth countries

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.

Contents

Military service

Tich's grave at Ilford Animal Cemetery Tich DM.jpg
Tich's grave at Ilford Animal Cemetery

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", [1] 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. [2]

Western Desert Campaign one of two major stages of the North African Campaign during WWII

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.

Jeep Brand of American Cars

Jeep is a brand of American automobiles that is a division of FCA US LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Italian-American corporation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Jeep has been a part of Chrysler since 1987, when Chrysler acquired the Jeep brand, along with remaining assets, from its previous owner: American Motors Corporation (AMC).

In 1944, she was smuggled aboard the ship that took the battalion to Italy and whilst on board had puppies. [1] 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." [2] The Dickin Medal is considered to be the animal's Victoria Cross. [3]

Military Medal military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services

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. [1] 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." [4]

The Dickin Medal is often referred to as the animal metaphorical equivalent of the Victoria Cross. [5]

Later life

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. [2] 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. [2]

Newcastle upon Tyne City and metropolitan borough in England

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.

Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals organization

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 pet cemetery

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.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 ""Tich" - The Desert Rat" (PDF). King's Royal Rifle Corps Association. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "PDSA Dickin Medal Awarded in 1949 to 'Tich' a Black Mongrel Terrier". Royal Green Jackets Museum. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  3. "PDSA Dickin medal". PDSA. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  4. "Dickin Medal dogs". People's Dispensary for Sick Animals . Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  5. Long, David (2012). The animals' VC: for gallantry and devotion: the PDSA Dickin Medal - inspiring stories of bravery and courage. London: Preface. ISBN   9781848093768.

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