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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
PIc: LauraJones/BNPS<br />
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The Dickin Medal awarded to the pigeon. <br />
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This is the humble carrier pigeon which brought back the first news that the audacious Battle of Arnhem during World War Two was not going to plan.<br />
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The desperate British troops resorted to using the bird to send an SOS message three days into the daring operation behind enemy lines after their radios had failed.<br />
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The note attached to the pigeon stated the Paratroopers at Arnhem Bridge were cut off and in desperate need of air support to counter the superior German forces.<br />
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Under fire and in almost farcical scenes, two soldiers tried to launch the bird, nicknamed William of Orange, off the bridge but it refused to budge.<br />
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It was only when one of them fired his Sten gun into the air the pigeon was spooked and flew off into the night.<br />
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Incredibly, he took just four hours and 25 minutes to fly the 260 miles back to its loft in Knutsford, Cheshire, with the message that was then relayed to the authorities.