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War Pigeons MemorialPrint Page Print this page

26-December-2014
26-December-2014

Photographs supplied by John Huth / Nigel Allsop, President of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation
The War Pigeons Memorial Plaque at the museum honours the pigeons that saved many soldiers lives in both World Wars.  The Historical Museum is the home to the South Pacific rims only war pigeon museum

On Saturday 7th September Australia Flag Day at the Caboolture Historical museum, Brisbane a unique event happened. All war animals were honoured but a special plaque was opened to honour Australian war pigeons. It is Australia's only war pigeon memorial honouring the deeds and sacrifices of these winged warriors that have save so many Diggers lives over both world wars.

Nigel Allsopp- President of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organization (AWAMO) talked about some of the great achievements that war pigeons have accomplished and how they have saved many lives. The audience of around 1500 people were amazed to hear of two Australian pigeon heroes that won the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1947.

Apart from the Bronze war pigeon memorial plaque AWAMO also provided a war animal plaque for all other animals plus donated several high quality posters for the Pigeon museum for their display.

Pigeons were used in great numbers during the First World War. However, as technology, including the radar, wireless and telephone, had greatly advanced since then, by 1939 it was thought that pigeons would no longer be required. Nonetheless, it was soon realised that this equipment could still fail in certain situations and message-carrying pigeons were reinstated as an alternative.

The 8th Australian Pigeon Section was sent to Port Moresby in December 1942 to support operations on the Kokoda Trail. The pigeons were trained to carry a message for up to 120 miles (193 km) at an average speed of 30 miles per hour (48km/hr). They were particularly useful in emergency situations when no other method of communication was available.

The bodies of the two Dickin Medal winners and several other pigeons were returned to Australia for display at the War Memorial.

Note: The PDSA Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 in the United Kingdom by Maria Dickin to honour the work of animals in war. It is a bronze medallion, bearing the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve" within a laurel wreath, carried on a ribbon of striped green, dark brown and pale blue. It is awarded to animals that have displayed "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units".  The award is commonly referred to as "the animals' Victoria Cross".

Location

Address:280 Beerburrum Road, Caboolture Historical Muaeum, Caboolture, 4510
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.059659
Long: 152.948406
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Sub-Theme:Animals
Link:http://www.facebook.com/AustralianW…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 7th September, 2014
Front Inscription

Australian War Animals Memorials

Our forgotten winged - allies

A much forgotten member of the Australian military

We owe a debt of gratitude to those pigeons and their handlers who did so much and saved many lives

Source: MA, AWA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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