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“Schools Name”. History. Pigeons Loft Project. History and Homing Pigeons. Why are homing pigeons related to History?. How important was Homing pigeons in the 2 nd World War and what was their role?. What was the Dickin Medal?. Homing Pigeons and War.

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“Schools Name”


Pigeons Loft Project

history and homing pigeons
History and Homing Pigeons

Why are homing pigeons related to History?

How important was Homing pigeons in the

2ndWorld War and what was their role?

What was the Dickin Medal?

homing pigeons and war
Homing Pigeons and War

Ok so I know what you are thinking what does the homing pigeon have to do with war?

Keep these images in mind as you can find the answers in the fill you are about to watch.

pigeons during the war
Pigeons During the war

You all now have a sheet with some questions on.

As you watch the video answer as many questions as a group as you can by using the information off the film


So what did you come up with

Pigeons were used in the RAF to send messages back to base to report where shot down aircraft were positioned

They was also used by solders to report back to base from behind enemy lines

Pigeons were parachuted to the soldiers / spies behind enemy lines to keep the communication lines open

Both sides took capturing enemy homing pigeons seriously as they would try and intercept and decode messages form the enemy

Mobile pigeon lofts was a regular site on military bases to house the pigeons until they was needed in action

Messages were sent by attaching a note onto the pigeons leg.

here is an actual message that was sent back from the front line on d day
Here is an actual message that was sent back from the front line on D Day!

Your Task

Ok you are a commander back at base and you have just received a message from the front line can you conclude what the message says and what you would do with the information!

You only have 10 minutes as you must be quick as it could be a matter of life or death!


The Story Behind the message and the pigeon


His name might sound suspiciously foreign, but he was as English as they come. Released from a ship close to the coast of Normandy as the D-Day landings began, he faced a headwind of 30mph and the sun was hidden behind dense cloud. Yet he still managed the 150-mile trip to a pigeon loft in Thorney Island, near Portsmouth, after a flight lasting 5hours and 16 minutes.

His handler, Sgt Harry Halsey, took the message strapped to Gustav's leg that read:

"We are just 20 miles or so off the beaches. First assault troops landed 0750. Signal says no interference from enemy gunfire on beach

Steaming steadily in formation. Lightning's, Typhoons, Fortresses crossing since 0545.

No enemy aircraft seen."

Liberated 8:30 - France

Arrived home 13:46 - Portsmouth

(The message was used to track the progress of the allied troops on the beaches of Normandy during the D Day landings. Thishelped the British Army Liberate the French people from German occupation)

dickin medal
Dickin Medal

Now it’s time for you to do the research!

What is the Dickin Medal awarded for?

You have 10 minutes to research and give examples of when and what the DickinMedal was awarded for

Good Luck

dickin medal1

[edit] See also

Dickin Medal

So What did you find?

Dickin Medal was first awarded in 1943 in the UK to honour the bravery of animals in war

It is made of bronze bearing the words

"For Gallantry, We Also Serve"


Animals have been awarded the Medal of which


are Homing Pigeons

The award is commonly referred to as

“The animals‘ Victoria Cross”

so the role of the homing pigeons in the war and how it all worked
So the role of the Homing Pigeons in the war and how it all worked


Start - 29 sec

Finish – 4min 25 sec

So will it work?

Hands up for YES

Number of students:____________

Hands up for NO

Number of students:______________

Let’s see what happens

Arriving home

Start -7min 32 sec

Finish – 8:52 seconds

so what did you learn
So what did you learn?

Why are homing pigeons related to History?

How important was Homing pigeons in the

2ndWorld War and what was there role?

What was the Dickin Medal?