BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 14:03 GMT
War medal given to hero dog
Sam, the German Shepherd
It is thought Sam saved many human lives
An heroic Army dog has won the animal's equivalent of the Victoria Cross for disarming a gunman while on duty in the Balkans.

Sam, a German shepherd, is being posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, after also holding back a baying mob, bent on attacking ethnic Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The dog performed the feats of bravery while on duty with handler Sergeant Iain Carnegie in Drvar with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Dog Unit.

Sam, who died of natural causes two years ago, is the first Army dog to win the medal since 1944.

The Dickin Medal
The Dickin Medal
Previous winners
32 carrier pigeons
19 dogs
three horses
a ship's cat

In 1998 Sam gave chase to a gunman who opened fire in the town which has been the scene of ethnic tensions.

Sargeant Carnegie said in the medal citation: "After a chase Sam brought down the suspect and I disarmed him, retrieving a loaded pistol.

"Sam performed brilliantly - just like a training exercise."

Six days later a mob armed with crowbars, clubs and stones surrounded a group of about 50 Serbs, but Sam held them off until back-up arrived.

'True Valour'

"Sam displayed outstanding courage in the face of the rioters, never did he shy away.

"I could never have attempted to carry out my duties without Sam," said Sergeant Carnegie, from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

"His true valour undoubtedly saved the lives of many servicemen and civilians."

Sam retired two years ago at the age of 10, and died from natural causes soon afterwards.

War heroes

He becomes the 59th animal to be honoured since the award, which is decided on by the PDSA animal charity, was established in 1943.

The Dickin Medal was introduced to honour animals which made an outstanding contribution in World War II.

In the past, the medal has been awarded to 32 carrier pigeons, 19 dogs, three horses and even a ship's cat.

Sergeant Carnegie will collect the medal during a ceremony at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps headquarters in Surrey next month.


Click here to go to Leicester
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes