Delivering the News

Squeaker the Carrier Pigeon

Royal Air Force carrier pigeon, 1942.
Imperial War Museum.The Animals War Exhibition.

Want to know why a pigeon like me was up there at the very top of the carving in the Peace Tower? In times before cell phones, texting and Facebook, carrier pigeons delivered important information because they were so good at finding their way from one place to another. Soldiers would attach notes to the pigeons and then release them to fly back to their coops.

My ancestor Beachcomber was the bird that delivered news about the raid in Dieppe, France, during the Second World War. More than 900 Canadians were killed in the difficult attack on the seaside town. A lot of carrier pigeons were also used during the First World War. If the enemy soldiers saw a pigeon flying by, they would shoot at it because they knew it could be carrying an important message. But we pigeons are super speedy. We can fly up to 100 kilometres per hour and that’s why the news usually got through! Some birds even delivered their messages after being wounded.

Dogs and cats were messengers too, carrying information in containers around their necks in dangerous war zones. We animals always deliver!

Calvary Charge
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