Tuesday 19 April 2011

Celebrity Dogs (6)

Hello everyone.

Today's celebrity dog is Rip. Rip was a mongrel (mixed-breed) terrier who was a Second World War, Search and Rescue dog. Rip was found as a stray following a heavy bombing raid over London in 1940 by an Air Raid Warden.

Rip was never given any training for search and rescue work.  Rip took to it instinctively. In a one year period between 1940 and 1941, he found over a hundred buried alive victims of the air raids in London.

His success as a search and rescue dog, was responsible for prompting the UK authorities to begin the training search and rescue dogs.

Rip was awarded the Dickin Medal (the animal VC) for bravery in 1945.  He became recognised as the service's first search and rescue dog. He would go on to wear the medal on his collar until the day he died. He was the first of twelve Dickin Medal winners to be buried in the PDSA's cemetery in Ilford, Essex. His headstone reads "Rip, D.M. We also serve - for the dog whose body lies here played his part in the Battle of Britain."

Rip and a Child in the Rubble
He was found in Poplar, London, in 1940 by an Air Raid Warden, and by accident commenced his search and Rescue career. Rip first came to the attention of his handler Mr King, when was thrown scraps of food. Mr King, who expected the dog to leave, but somehow the two struck up a special friendship. Rip began acting as an unofficial rescue dog, being used to sniff out casualties trapped beneath buildings.

Rip searching through rubble
 accompanied by his handler Mr E. King.


Rip' the dog helps this Air Raid Precautions Warden to search amongst rubble and debris following an air raid. The Warden signals for help from his colleagues to search the spot indicated by Rip.

Jilly Cooper, in her book "Animals in War" 1983. Wrote “How welcome to the victims must have been the first sounds of those scrabbling paws, shrill terrier yaps, and the first sight of the grinning Tommy Brock face with its merry friendly eyes.”

On such small shoulders was such a heavy burden carried.

So today we salute the memory of  Rip DM.

Yip Yap.
XX Poppy

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