WW1 Pigeon Tribute!!

Just in by email ......

From 1914 until 1918 over half a million pigeons were used as a secure and rapid means of battlefield communication. These exceptional birds achieved a 95% success rate in delivering their messages through horrendous conditions. They proved to be more effective than the emerging technology of radio or telephone. As a result many were considered heroes and received awards for their courage and service.

A limited edition sheet of stamps is being issued in tribute to these remarkable birds from Bletchley Park Post Office and the National Pigeon Association. Ten 1st Class Royal Mail stamps featuring original photographs are set into an A4 sheet with a World War 1 background. Only 500 sheets will be issued at £35 per sheet. They can be previewed and advance ordered from Bletchley Park Post Office - First Day Covers, Enigma Machine, Post Office History or by calling 01980 363489.

The stamp sheet features original images from the period with a converted London bus as its centrepiece. Buses were often used as mobile lofts enabling birds to be moved around for use on the front line. Conditions often meant that they had to be transported by bicycle and foot to the front line as well as being protected from gas attack. The 10 images on the stamp sheet were selected from the National Pigeon Association archives to show the diversity of uses pigeons were put to. Front line trenches, spotter planes and battle tanks where a few of the locations from which these remarkable birds delivered vital messages, usually more securely and accurately than the emerging technology of radio. There are many stories of individual heroism and courage displayed by pigeons determined to get their messages through no matter what the conditions.

Bletchley Park Post Office stamp sheets are much sought after by collectors and as a result can become worth many times the issue price. Many are framed and mounted to create eye catching display pieces.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Out of 63 Dicken Medals awarded Pigeons have won 32, the Dogs are catching up though with 28.

The medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949 – to 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, three horses, and one cat
I, personally, have a real problem with the Dickens Medal.

To me it's just Bambism attributing acts of gallentry and valour to an animal that is incapable of rational thought. They have been conditioned through either possitive or negative enforcement to carry out such responses.

Why not a Ford or Benz medal for a vehicle that has kept going through a battle or a Wright medal for all the bombers that made it back to the UK after having the shit shot out of them!
Can I just be the first to ask if Speckled Jim got a Dickens medal?
It took 5 posts to mention Speckled Jim. For shame.
Perhaps just as an acknowledgement of rightful guilt that we humans keep using up the lives of other creatures in our incessant, pointless bloody wars.
Your world is just filled with rainbows and unicorns isn’t it?

I mean, in the wild, none of these furry little woodland creatures are ever eaten by other furry little woodland creatures.

Gout Man

Book Reviewer
Thought I'd resurrect The Dicken Medal thread. These pooches are doing something I've never done, and I only thought two things fell from the sky!


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