Animals Given High Honors


Rats are generally not the most respected of animals. But this year a rat called Magawa has been presented with a small gold medal for “lifesaving bravery and devotion to duty.”

William Windsor

Not all animals that are given high honours live up to the level of expectation of their humans. Since the time of Queen Victoria the 1st Battalion Royal Welch of the British Army has received a goat as their mascot.


The Dickin Medal is among the highest awards animals can receive for bravery. Given by the  People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) charity the medal is only presented to animals who show exceptional gallantry. 

GI Joe

The first American winner of the Dickin award however was much earlier and was a pigeon given the name GI Joe.


Dogs have long been credited as man’s best friend and it certainly seems that in the battlefield they are. Dogs have often come to their handlers’ defence even at the risk of their own lives.


The United States Marine Corps has only once given an official rank to an animal.

Sergeant Stubby

Not all military dogs are large and fearsome beasts. Stubby, as his name suggests, was not a tall dog. He was not even a pure bred dog of long lineage.

Tirpitz the Pig

During the First World War pigs were often kept on board ships where they could be used as a fresh supply of meat. One pig was stationed on the German ship the SMS Dresden. 


Alexander the Great did not do anything by halves. When he set out to conquer an empire he created the largest one the world had ever seen.

Cher Ami

In the mud and gas and terror of the First World War it was easy for messages to go astray and never reach their target.