Despatches

A rare ‘animal VC’ for an SAS war dog and a brooch containing hair from the head of Vice-Admiral Nelson go under the hammer

‘ANIMAL VC’ FOR SAS DOG SMASHES

A PDSA Dickin Medal for Gallantry presented to a war dog sold for a world record sum at a Noonans auction in October

The rare award, together with an RSPCA Red Collar for Valour, were awarded to Rob, a black-and-white collie-retriever who completed more than 20 parachute jumps in North Africa and Italy. Instituted in 1943 by PDSA founder Maria Dickin CBE, the Dickin Medal has been awarded on 71 occasions.

Bought as a puppy for five shillings from Colemere Farm near Ellesmere, Shropshire, in 1939, Rob lived with the Bayne family of Tetchill as their farm dog and pet and they volunteered him as a war dog in 1942. Following his service in North Africa, Rob became the first war dog to serve with the SAS and supported several missions.

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