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Pigeon named Mary latest war hero to win a blue plaque

Mary, a carrier pigeon, was hit by shrapnel, wounded by pellets and attacked by German war hawks as she flew over the Pas De Calais

For more than 150 years blue plaques have celebrated notable people and the buildings in which they lived.

But now a pigeon that delivered secret messages during the Second World War has become the first animal to be given the honour.

Mary, a carrier pigeon, was hit by shrapnel, wounded by pellets and attacked by German war hawks as she flew over the Pas De Calais.

Her loft in Exeter, Devon, was also bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1942 resulting in the deaths of many feathered comrades. 

She lived with her owner, pigeon breeder Cecil ‘Charlie’ Brewer, and the property in Exeter’s West Street had its plaque unveiled at the weekend.

He had been made a special constable in 1941 with responsibility for general control of war pigeons.

Mr Brewer used his skills as a bootmaker to stitch up her wounds and also made Mary a small leather neck support to ease her injuries.

She died in 1950 and is buried with other animal heroes in the PDSA Pet Cemetery in Ilford, Essex

She lived with her owner, pigeon breeder Cecil ‘Charlie’ Brewer (pictured)

She lived with her owner, pigeon breeder Cecil ‘Charlie’ Brewer (right) and she died in 1950 and is buried with other animal heroes in the PDSA Pet Cemetery in Ilford, Essex

At the end of the war she was awarded the Dickin Medal for distinguished gallantry, the highest animal award for bravery.

She died in 1950 and is buried with other animal heroes in the PDSA Pet Cemetery in Ilford, Essex.

John Monks, of the Exeter Civic Society, said: ‘It’s a remarkable story of dedication to duty worthy of a blue plaque. But it is also a record of the roles humans required animals to play in bad times.’

Mr Brewer died in 1985, aged 90, having raised money for charity by giving talks on his beloved bird.

The property of Cecil 'Charlie' Brewer in Exeter’s West Street had its plaque unveiled at the weekend

The property of Cecil ‘Charlie’ Brewer in Exeter’s West Street had its plaque unveiled at the weekend



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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