Judy, was an English pointer dog who won the PDSA Dickin Medal, known as the Victoria Cross of the animal kingdom, because of her service in the military during the Second World War in the Far East. Judy was the mascot of two gunboats deployed to the Far East: HMS Gnat and HMS Grasshopper. She was on HMS Grasshopper when it was attacked and abandoned. She was rescued by survivors and she managed to reach the island of Sumatra.
On the island, she supported fellow crew members by chasing away stakes in the rainforest. She also found a spring for the sailors when their water supplies run out. Judy and the crew were captured by the Japanese and thrown into a Japanese prisoner of war camp. While in captivity she was cared for by RAF leading aircraftman Frank Williams. It is reported in The Times that she growled at guards when they abused the prisoners.
She was smuggled back to the UK after the war where she spent six months in quarantine at a cost of £12. An appeal was started to fund the cost which put her in the news. Her exploits made her famous. Moving forward to 2020, a bronze statue of her is to be cast at North Wales Pet Cemetery near Holywell. There’s to be a memorial to animals that contributed in wartime. The plans are being drawn up by the National Military Working Dogs Memorial. The cost is to be an estimated £200,000.
After the war, Judy lived with Mr Williams and she died in Tanzania in 1950, aged 13. I have a page on a cat bravery award and awards given to other animals. It features the story of Simon, a cat who also served in the Far East during the war. Simon also received the Dickin Medal.