We’re very grateful to Stephen Glencross of the Carlisle Animals in War organisation for loaning the Museum this object. It will go on display shortly with the Dickin Medal (currently on loan from the Royal Pigeon Racing Association) which can be seen in our First Floor Animals in War display. Alastair Ritchie, one of the young people completing an SVQ in Museums and Galleries Practice at the Museum did a little research to find out more about this object, this is what he discovered…
The badge has the symbol of the NPS (National Pigeon Service) on it. This organisation was founded in 1938 by Major W.H.Osman to look after and continue to breed pigeons for use in military communication. As a result between 1939-1945 it supplied 200,000 to the RAF, British Army, Intelligence Service and the Special Section of Army Pigeon Service.
Including one called, Commando, a red chequer cock bird that became a recipient of the Dickin Medal for having flown more than ninety trips into and out of France all during the occupation, carrying confidential messages including the location of German troops, industrial sites and injured British soldiers.
The Official issue number on our badge is 15093 with silver plate and enamel. Stephen Glencross told us it belonged to Mr Chamkin who was in the World War Two Signal Corps.
It is also engrained with J.R Grant London a company that sadly closed in 2016 after 71 years of business.