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‘Rob the Parachuting Dog’ is the most famous of all recipients of the ‘animal VC’. Bought as a puppy in 1939 for 5 shillings, the black-and-white collie-retriever lived his early years as a farm dog in Shropshire.

However, after his owners volunteered him as a war dog in 1942, he undertook 20 parachute descents while serving with infantry in North Africa and the 2nd SAS Regiment in Italy.

Rob’s Dickin medal, with his RSPCA Red Collar for Valour and an extensive archive, was sold at Noonans on October 12 on behalf of the family who owned him. Estimated at £20,000-30,000, it took a record £140,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium).