The story of Ricky Litchfield
Ricky in the field while on war service between 1944 and 1945
One night my father was on home-guard duty, and offered the destitute family 7 shillings and sixpence for their appealing crossbred Border Collie/Old English sheepdog. Worried by the escalation of bombings on coastal towns, we left Hastings and moved to the rural village of Seddlescombe, in Sussex.
1941 found our family relocated to Kent, not far from the fighter command base at Biggin Hill. Acute food shortages prompted my mother to write to the War Office offering Ricky’s services as a war dog. He passed his test with flying colours and was drafted into the British Army “sapper” division concerned with mine detection and removal.
A wonderful friendship developed between Ricky and his handler, Maurice Yielding – a circus performer in “Civvy Street” – and they were together throughout the duration of the war.
Ricky being bathed while on war service between 1944 and 1945
At the end of the hostilities in Europe in 1945, the War Office wrote and offered us the then princely sum of 25 pounds to retain Ricky’s services. We declined as we longed for his return. After a spell of quarantine Ricky was crated and sent back to us at Swanley station.
Shortly after his return home, we received a letter from the PDSA informing us that Ricky was to be awarded the famous Dickin Medal or Animal’s VC for “extreme bravery and devotion to duty”. Ricky and his handler were wounded by an exploding mine and the dog made his way back through the minefield and let the medics to his wounded handler.
Ricky rests in peace along with other animal heroes and heroines in the War Animals’ Cemetery at Ilford. It is this commitment to the preservation of life that has lead us to develop a range of healthy Pet products using Buchu, the proven healthy alternative.
Ricky being honoured with the Dickin medal at PDSA with handler M. Yeilding
Buchu? Read all about it!
Buchu oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant species Agathosma betulina. In this photo you can see the oil glands on the underside of the Buchu leaf. So much goodness from this gorgeous little plant, all helping in natures way!
In the Western Cape Province of South Africa lies the smallest floristic region in the world, the Floral Kingdom; a declared World Heritage site. Endemic to the region, Buchu was traditionally harvested in the wild, but is today sustainably sourced from cultivated fields. From the aromatic Buchu leaf, a pure essential oil is distilled to use in Ricky Pet Products.