RIP - DM 27

Date of Award: 1945

"For locating many air-raid victims during the blitz of 1940."

Rip's Story

Rip, a crossbreed terrier, was discovered alone and hungry amidst the chaos following a heavy air raid on Poplar, London by a local Air Raid Warden in 1940. The Warden, Mr. E. King, took pity on him, fed him some scraps, and the pair became inseparable.

Adopted as a mascot by Mr. King’s Civil Defence Squad colleagues in post B132, the Southill Street Air Raid Patrol (ARP), Rip showed a talent for sniffing out survivors trapped in bombed buildings and soon became an unofficial Search and Rescue dog. Rip never received any formal training but seemed to have an instinctive ability for finding survivors and soon became the ARP’s first ‘official’ Search and Rescue dog

Throughout the London Blitz, Rip and his ARP colleagues worked tirelessly to locate and rescue people and animals trapped in the wreckage of bombed out buildings. In just twelve months, Rip is believed to have helped save the lives of more than 100 people. His abilities and exploits were held in such regard that he is the inspiration behind the highly-trained Search and Rescue dogs we’re all familiar with today.

Awarded a PDSA Dickin Medal in 1945, his citation read:“For locating many air-raid victims during the blitz of 1940.”

Rip wore his Medal on his collar until the day he died. He is buried at PDSA’s Animal Cemetery in Ilford, Essex. Rip’s headstone reads: ‘We also Serve – for the dog whose body lies here played his part in the Battle of Britain