Olga - DM 51
Police Horse Olga was just one of many horses to play a vital role in crowd control and rescue operations as London suffered unrelenting attacks from the Luftwaffe’s notorious ‘Flying Bombs’.
On 3 July 1944, Olga was on patrol with P.C. J.E. Thwaites near Tooting when a doodlebug, as they were popularly known, exploded near a railway line. Packed with up to 1,000lb of high explosives, doodlebugs were a devastating weapon and the blast, which happened less than 300 feet in front of Olga, claimed the lives four men and destroyed four buildings. A plate glass window fell directly in front of Olga, causing her initially to panic and bolt.
P.C. Thwaites quickly brought her under control and they returned to the scene within minutes to attend to survivors and control the crowd that had assembled to view the devastation. Awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal on 11 April 1947, Olga was recognised for being “On duty when a flying bomb demolished four houses in Tooting and a plate-glass window crashed immediately in front of her. Olga, after bolting for 100 yards, returned to the scene of the incident and remained on duty with her rider, controlling traffic and assisting rescue organisations.”
Olga, along with fellow PDSA Dickin Medal recipients, Upstart and Regal, is buried at the Metropolitan Police Mounted Training Establishment at Thames Ditton.