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Medals of parachuting SAS dog are tipped to fetch £30,000 after he was awarded animal Victoria Cross

Rob the para-dog (pictured honored) served on daring SAS missions in North Africa and Italy, including one where he was dropped behind enemy lines with commandos to prepare the ground for the Allied invasion of Anzio in 1944

An SAS parachuting dog’s bravery medals are set to fetch £30,000 at auction, after it was awarded the animal version of the Victoria Cross for being dropped behind enemy lines in World War Two.

Rob the para-dog made 20 parachute jumps and served on daring SAS missions in North Africa and Italy, including one where he joined commandos to prepare the ground for the Allied invasion of Anzio in 1944.

The brave canine’s job was to be on guard and alert men to any danger by licking their faces, while it also carried important messages from one end of the front to the other.

Rob, a border collie retriever, was the only dog ​​to be awarded both the PDSA Dickin Medal for Bravery and the RSPCA Red Collar for Bravery – along with a lifetime supply of biscuits.

After the war Rob was returned to his owners and died in 1952 aged 12 to 69.

Books have been written about his wartime exploits and he even made the cover of the Radio Times in 1989.

His owner’s son, Basil Bayne, who grew up next to Rob near Tetchill, Shropshire, has now decided to sell the hero dog’s tags alongside his collar, a portrait and several photographs.

The charming treasure is expected to sell for over £30,000 at Noonans auctioneers in Mayfair, London.

Rob the para-dog (pictured honored) served on daring SAS missions in North Africa and Italy, including one where he was dropped behind enemy lines with commandos to prepare the ground for the Allied invasion of Anzio in 1944

Rob the para-dog (pictured honored) served on daring SAS missions in North Africa and Italy, including one where he was dropped behind enemy lines with commandos to prepare the ground for the Allied invasion of Anzio in 1944

Rob was the only dog ​​to be awarded both the PDSA Dickin Medal for Bravery and the RSPCA Red Collar for Bravery (both pictured) – plus a lifetime supply of biscuits

Rob was the only dog ​​to be awarded both the PDSA Dickin Medal for Bravery and the RSPCA Red Collar for Bravery (both pictured) – plus a lifetime supply of biscuits

The brave dog's job was to be on guard and alert men to any danger by licking his face.  He also carried important messages from one part of the front to the other

The brave dog’s job was to be on guard and alert men to any danger by licking his face. He also carried important messages from one part of the front to the other

After the war Rob was returned to his owners and died in 1952 aged 12 to 69.  Pictured admiring his own portrait

After the war Rob was returned to his owners and died in 1952 aged 12 to 69. Pictured admiring his own portrait

His owner's son, Basil Bayne, who grew up next to Rob near Tetchill, Shropshire, has now decided to sell the hero dog's tags alongside his collar, a portrait and several photographs.

His owner’s son, Basil Bayne, who grew up next to Rob near Tetchill, Shropshire, has now decided to sell the hero dog’s tags alongside his collar, a portrait and several photographs.

Noonans specialist Christopher Mellor-Hill said Rob’s medals were the “largest” of their kind ever at auction.

He said: ‘Rob the Parachuting Dog is the most famous of all Dickin Medal recipients and we are delighted to gift his medals on behalf of the family who owned him.

“Rob was the first war dog attached to the SAS to be awarded the ‘VC animal’ and would have been the only war dog to be nominated for the Dickin Medal by the War Office.

‘Demobilized on November 27, 1945, Rob led the Wembley Parade of 32 war dogs on July 16, 1947. He was the star of the show when it came to the 10,000 spectators, being the only dog ​​present to hold both the medal Dickin and the RSPCA Red Collar and Medallion for Valour.

“Over the years books have been written about him and he made the front page of the Radio Times. I believe this is the most important Dickin Medal ever sold at auction.

The black and white dog was born in 1939 and helped owner Edward Bayne on his farm in Shropshire before the obedient animal was offered for military service in 1942.

A letter included in the sale describes how Rob “eagerly followed” his comrades off the plane on jumps. The account tells how his training began after soldiers from the 2nd SAS Regiment in North Africa smuggled him on board.

When their heir commander realized that Rob had left with them, he decided to send him to Italy.

The letter reads: ‘It was from there (North Africa) that the 2nd SAS practiced its parachute drops and one day the men smuggled Rob on the plane for a ride.

It was all they could do to keep him from jumping after the men. So they borrowed a harness from a nearby US base that was trying to train dogs to jump, and on the next jump they took Rob with them again.

“This time Rob jumped out and on landing the men ran towards him to free him from the parachute. He had taken a perfect fall, falling silently without panic through the air.

“It was only then that the commander was informed that Rob had been airborne and from then on his training began in earnest.”

Jennifer Hodges, the daughter of Corporal Victor Redhead, Rob’s SAS handler, wrote in a letter that the dog would “eagerly parachute past” her father.

She said: ‘While the soldiers slept, Rob would patrol around them and lick their faces to wake them up instantly at the slightest noise.

“While on a mission he disappeared for five weeks, but during that time he rounded up all the widely scattered members of his 2nd SAS patrol and they returned home safe and sound.”

The black and white dog was born in 1939 and helped owner Edward Bayne on his farm in Shropshire before the obedient animal was offered for military service in 1942.

The black and white dog was born in 1939 and helped owner Edward Bayne on his farm in Shropshire before the obedient animal was offered for military service in 1942.

Books have been written about Rob's wartime exploits and he even made the cover of the Radio Times in 1989.

Books have been written about Rob’s wartime exploits and he even made the cover of the Radio Times in 1989.

The charming treasure is set to sell for over £30,000 at Noonans auctioneers in Mayfair, London next month

The charming treasure is set to sell for over £30,000 at Noonans auctioneers in Mayfair, London next month

The Dickin Medal was awarded to 71 animals, of which 34 were dogs, 32 were pigeons, four were horses and one was a cat.

The Dickin Medal was awarded to 71 animals, of which 34 were dogs, 32 were pigeons, four were horses and one was a cat.

Rob the para-dog's red RSPCA for Valor collar is also being sold at the auction on October 12

Rob the para-dog’s red RSPCA for Valor collar is also being sold at the auction on October 12

After serving in the infantry in North Africa, he became the first dog to serve in the SAS when he was dropped on sabotage missions with his own special parachute in Italy.

Upon receiving the medals, Mr. Bayne told how Rob cared for the other farm animals.

He said: “He used to help settle the chicks into their homes at night, scooping them into his mouth when they had strayed – he had a wonderful mouth – and slipping them under their mothers.”

When Rob was still a little pup, he set out to explore beyond the confines of Tetchill and was brought home by John Brunt, then a schoolboy at Ellesmere College. John became a frequent visitor and took Rob for a walk.

After leaving college, John joined the military and had a successful career until he was killed in action. In a strange coincidence, on the day Rob received the “animal VC”, it was announced that John had been awarded the VC posthumously.

Basil Bayne, who now lives in Antrim, Northern Ireland, learned to walk by holding on to Rob’s tail.

He said: “After his wartime exploits, Rob was returned to us and reinstated in farm life, occasionally making public appearances to help raise funds for the return of POWs and their families.

“In February 1948, he disappeared for five days with his companion, our other dog, Judy, a spaniel. Rob returns in an emaciated state without his collar.

“There was a red white and blue ribbon all around. Several years later, a local farmhand laundering with a spade found the necklace hanging around the root of a tree.

“Rob had tensed up and lost weight until he was able to slip the collar over his head. This ramshackle necklace, now devoid of all ribbons, is among the auction items and the strain on the holes in the necklace is evident.

The Dickin Medal was awarded to 71 animals, of which 34 were dogs, 32 were pigeons, four were horses and one was a cat.

The vast majority were awarded for bravery during the Second World War, but several wards were awarded to arms and explosives search dogs of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rob’s medals will be sold on October 12.

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