The Devils Porridge has a fantastic new item on loan – a Dickin Medal. The Dickin Medal was created by Maria Dickin, founder of the PDSA in 1943 to recognise the brave contributions made by Animals in War. It has been awarded just 71 times – 31 dogs, 32 World War Two messenger pigeons, three horses and one cat have been awarded. The medal is on loan from the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (the RPRA) and is one of only three medals they have loaned from their collection across the UK. The medal commemorates ‘Dutch Coast’ a pigeon who delivered an SOS from a ditched air crew in 1942. The pigeon covered 288 miles in 7.5 hours. The entire crew were rescued as a result of this action.
“The Museum has a memorial outside to commemorate Animals In War” said Judith Hewitt, Museum Manager, “and last year members of our Young Historians Club worked with the RPRA and the Carlisle Animals In War group to curate an exhibition about all the animals who also served. We are delighted to be able to bring this rare object to our region and to share it with our visitors. It will go on display within the next few weeks and will offer something different for everyone (especially animal lovers) to see.”