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Hero animals honoured at Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Published: Thursday, 30th January 2020

An exhibition honouring hero war animals will go on display in February at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.

The exhibition – PDSA Dickin Medal: Extraordinary Animals In Action – was created by leading veterinary charity PDSA to mark the 75th anniversary of the PDSA Dickin Medal.

The Medal, introduced by the charity’s Founder Maria Dickin during World War II, is awarded to animals that display conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving in military conflict. It was first awarded to messenger pigeon named Winkie on 3 December 1943.

The exhibition honours the incredible animals: 34 dogs, 32 pigeons, four horses and one cat, who have received the PDSA Dickin Medal. An Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal was also bestowed to ‘the real war horse’, Warrior, on 2 September 2014, on behalf of the 16 million animals that served in the Great War.

Extraordinary Animals In Action will be on display from Saturday 1 February to Sunday 19 April 2020. The exhibition, which is free to enter, is interactive and suitable for the whole family.

Jan McLoughlin, PDSA Director General, said: “We are thrilled to see our wonderful PDSA Dickin Medal exhibition on display at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. It brings to life the amazing stories of the hero dogs, pigeons, horses and cat who have played such a vital role during times of conflict around the world.

“We hope that local families, animal lovers and history buffs will make the trip to see the exhibition and learn more about the PDSA Dickin Medal and its truly heroic animal recipients.”

Recipients of the prestigious Medal hail from histories deadliest warzones.  From the battlegrounds of World War I and II, to the Korean War and Chinese Civil War, and the more recent conflicts in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for culture, sport and heritage, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the PDSA on this wonderful exhibition. It’s a moving and fascinating way to honour these animal heroes. All of the PDSA Dickin Medal stories are incredibly inspiring and it’s fantastic that the animals receive the recognition they deserve. We’re proud to be doing our part in Stoke-on-Trent and we’d encourage as many people as possible to see the amazing exhibition while it’s at the museum.”

For more information about the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery visit

Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

To find out more about the PDSA Dickin Medal visit

PDSA Dickin Medal