Royal Blue the Kings racing pigeon and first carrier of the war
"Royal Blue" the King's racing pigeon and first carrier of the war carried a message from a force landed plane on hte Continent has been invested with the animals' VC The Dickin Medal. In October 1940 this bird was released in Holland approximately 120 miles from base at 7.20am and arrived at Sandringham at 11.50am the same day with information regarding the sitution of the crew. Corporal A Randall RAF with the King's pigeon after it had been invested with the medal in London
12th April 1945
Charlie the Swan, a regular visitor to The Rising Sun in Shoreham, Kent
Charlie the Swan, a regular visitor to The Rising Sun in Shoreham, Kent. After a fox killed his parents Charlie was looked after and fed by hand by local villagers. He was introduced to the River Darent but he enters the pub three times a day for a quick feed, sometimes by opening the door, other times by making so much noise outside that a customer opens it for him. Pictured is landlord Frank Coon.
26 November 1957
© John Topham / TopFoto.co.uk
William Rysdyks Hambletonian 1865, Father of the Trotting Horse. His employer, Seeley
William Rysdyk's Hambletonian 1865, Father of the Trotting Horse. His employer, Seeley, acquired a Charles Kent Mare, which had been permanently injured and was used only for breeding. Sired by Bellfounder, she was of Norfolk Trotter ancestry, a breed noted for its smooth gait. Seeley bred his mare to Abdullah, who was a grandson of Messenger, but a mean and ugly horse. The offspring of the Charles Kent Mare and Abdullah was a bay colt who was to be a keystone in the future of harness racing.
Rysdyk persuaded his employer to sell him the colt and named him Hambletonian. In all, Hambletonian was bred to some 1, 900 mares resulting in 1, 331 foals. Forty of these foals trotted the mile in less than 2 minutes 30 seconds. Among Hambletonian's many distinguished heirs were Dexter, Happy Medium, George Wilkes, Dictator, and Electioneer. The blood of Hambletonian is in most of today's distinguished trotters and pacers. The History of Horse Racing by Roger Longrigg, page 236.
© 2003 Topham Picturepoint