A WAR medal given to a dog from Ellesmere that participated in around 20 parachute missions is be auctioned, and is expected to fetch up to £30,000.

Rob, a black-and-white collie-retriever, was awarded the P.D.S.A. Dickin Medal for Gallantry, otherwise known as the VC for animals, and the RSPCA Red Collar for Valour for his gallantry and outstanding service during the Second World War.

According to auctioneers Noonans, who are offering the medal for sale from the family members of Rob's original owners, the dog undertook 20 missions while serving with infantry in North Africa and the 2nd S.A.S. Regiment in Italy.

Christopher Mellor-Hill, head of client liaison at Noonans, said: “Rob the Parachuting Dog” is the most famous of all the Dickin Medal recipients and we are delighted to be offering his medals on behalf of the family who owned him.

Whitchurch Herald: Noonans.Noonans. (Image: Noonans.)

"Rob was the first War Dog attached to the SAS to be awarded the ‘animal VC’, and was reportedly the only 'War Dog' to have been nominated for the Dickin Medal by the War Office.

“Demobilised on November 27, 1945, Rob led the Wembley Parade of 32 war dogs on July 16, 1947 in front of 10,000 spectators, being the only dog present to hold both the Dickin Medal and the RSPCA Red Collar and Medallion for Valour.

"Over the years books have been written about him and he even featured on the front page of the Radio Times, we believe this to be the most important Dickin Medal to ever be sold at auction.”


Rob was bought as a puppy from Colemere Farm near Ellesmere in Shropshire in 1939 for five shillings, and lived his early years with the Bayne family of nearby Tetchill as their farm dog and pet.

Rob’s owners volunteered him as a War Dog in 1942 and he was signed up on May 19 of that year, and saw action in the North Africa campaign and from September 1943, Rob served with the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS), the first war dog to do so.

Whitchurch Herald: Noonans. Noonans. (Image: Noonans.)

With the regiment, he took part in operations in Italy, parachuting in on sabotage missions.

The Baynes’ son, Basil, who now lives in Antrim, Northern Ireland and is selling the medal, said he learnt to walk by holding onto Rob’s tail or clutching his coat, and if the child was crying Rob put his front paws up on the pram, soothed him and made him laugh.

He said: “Following his wartime exploits, Rob was returned to us and settled back into life on the farm, occasionally making public appearances to help raise funds for returning Prisoners of War and their families.

"In February 1948 he disappeared for five days with his companion, our other dog, Judy, a spaniel but, returning in an emaciated condition without his everyday collar. It had red white and blue ribbon all around it.

"Several years later a local farm worker out rabbiting with spade found the collar hooked around the root of a tree.

Whitchurch Herald: Noonans. Noonans. (Image: Noonans.)

"Rob had strained and lost weight until he was able to slip the collar over his head. This dilapidated collar, now missing all ribbons, is among the items in the auction and the strain on the holes in the collar is obvious."

Noonans will sell the item on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 and proceeds will be given to the Taylor McNally Foundation, and is being sold with an extensive archive including his collar, a portrait painting, photographs, certificate, manuscripts, books and letters.