Dowcha Boy, White Vision,
Paddy, The King of Rome
& IHU 15 67080
“Few people can claim that they owe their very existence to a pigeon”
The Dickin Medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. White Vision was one of the first three recipients in December 1943. Nine months later, Paddy was similarly honoured. I read of Paddy in Ireland’s Own. A plaque was erected in his honour at Carnlough, near Larne, and is on my To Visit list. It looks like there may be two plaques and a song - and another song, of sorts. In 2010, there was a flypast in commemoration.
This week I read of Cónal Creedon’s excellent book, Begotten Not Made, being selected for an Eric Hoffer Book Award in the U.S., and was reminded of Dowcha Boy whose exploits in World War I pre-dated the Dickin Medal. Feted on returning to Cork, the Legend of the Northside, a small but critical figure of the book, has not been forgotten by this reader.
Paddy lived until he was 11. White Saviour lived for 10 years after her rescue night. Based in Rialto in Dublin, IHU 15 67080 was ringed in 2015, which I think may also be year of birth. I hope that she is now competing in races for pigeons with disabilities. On Thursday, a ringed leg was spotted in the grounds of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral.
Dowcha Boy survived being shot. White Vision survived the stormy night flight that her fellow pigeon did not. Maybe IHU 15 67080 is flying, and hopping, about quite contentedly having evaded the peregrine around the golden trumpets mentioned in a tweet this morning.
“In the West End of Derby lives a working man
Orla Peach’s tweet and listening to The Unthanks earlier, was enough of a co-incidence about pigeons in one week to warrant this rambling blog.
For further distraction from Cónal Creedon, take a few minutes HERE
If it is good enough for Dowtcha Boy
Paddy Comerford on the Northside Pigeon