A medal received by a dog who served in the Second World War has broken a world record – more than six times over – by being sold for £140,000 at auction. Included with Rob the war dog's Dickin Medal and his RSPCA Red Collar for Valour were a painted portrait, photographs, a certificate, manuscripts, books and letters.
Rob received the Dickin Medal, which is said to be the animal equivalent of a Victoria Cross, for his gallantry and outstanding service during the war.
The black-and-white Collie Retriever cross undertook 20 parachute descents while serving with Infantry in North Africa and the 2nd SAS Regiment in Italy. He was the first dog to ever serve with the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS).
Bought as a puppy for five shillings by the Bayne family, Rob worked as their farm dog but also served as a family pet. His owners volunteered him as a war dog in 1942 and he was signed up in May of that year.
When he returned from the war Rob settled back into farm life, only making occasional public appearances to raise money for returning prisoners of war and their families.
He also led the Wembley parade of 32 war dogs in July 1947 in front of 10,000 spectators.
Over the years, Rob has had books written about him and even featured on the front page of the Radio Times. He died at the age of 12 in 1952.
Basil Bayne, the son of Rob's original owner, said he was delighted that Rob's story and legacy is held in such high respect and that the important role that him and many other animals have played in conflict is being recognised.
The medals, estimated to reach £20,000 to £30,000, were bought by a new collector of British gallantry medals. The proceeds are being donated to charity.