Published 27 July 2016

Princess Alexandra has awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal to Sgt Reckless, a horse who saved countless lives during the Korean War. During one of the bloodiest battles of the war, Reckless made 51 trips by herself under enemy fire carrying munitions to the front line, and wounded soldiers back to safety.

The PDSA Dickin Medal is seen as the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, and is the highest award any animal can receive whilst serving in military conflict.

Reckless was taught battlefield survival skills and even learned to run for a bunker when she heard the cry "incoming!" She often slept in the tents of her comrades in the Anti-Tank Division of the 5th Marines, and ate in the mess tent with them.

Upon her arrival in America after the war, hundreds of people turned out to give Reckless a hero's welcome. Author Robin Hutton, who nominated Reckless for the Medal, writes in his book about her: "she wasn't just a horse, she was a marine […] There is no knowing the number of lives she saved."

Find out more about Sergeant Reckless and the PDSA Dickin Medal on the PDSA website.