The National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire has announced a programme of Half Term activities focused on the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the PDSA Dickin Medal which honours the work of animals in war.

Young visitors will have the opportunity to learn the extraordinary stories of four Dickin Medal recipients. One of the stories is about Warrior, the warhorse of General Jack Seely, who was posthumously awarded an honorary Dickin Medal to commemorate the contributions of all animals during the First World War. Warrior had served with the General on the Western Front throughout the war from 1914 to 1918.

The Dickin Medal is a bronze medallion, on a striped green, brown and blue ribbon, carrying the words “For Gallantry” and “We Also Serve” within a laurel wreath. Animal recipients are considered to have demonstrated “conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units”.

Young visitors can pay tribute to the animal heroes they learn about by making their own animal finger puppet, or they can pay tribute to their own pet by designing and creating a special salt dough animal hero medal.

The activities will be available at the Arboretum from 18 February to 25 February.

Sarah Oakden, Head of Marketing, National Memorial Arboretum, said: “The Arboretum is an amazing place for families to explore, with 150 acres of woodlands containing more than 350 memorials dedicated to inspirational individuals and organisations. 

“The free of charge Half Term activities offer the opportunity for younger visitors to engage with the exciting tales of Dickin Medal recipients, allowing them to learn about the importance of Remembrance in a fun and engaging way.”