Today is Remembrance Sunday.
As we take a moment “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts” – we too remember the animals who perished in the wars. For they had no choice.
Every year, we make our way to the Animals in War memorial on Remembrance Sunday.
To stop for a moment to read the messages left …
May’s comment: From The Guardian …
Sixteen million animals “served” in the first world war – and the RSPCA estimates that 484,143 horses, mules, camels and bullocks were killed in British service between 1914 and 1918.
Trench dogs hunted for rats in the trenches. Others carried messages. The German army alone employed 30,000 dogs. … dogs were recruited from animal shelters, and when that supply ran out, from the general public.
In no man’s land, dogs did jobs humans could not, such as taking supplies to the wounded so that they could treat themselves; and “mercy dogs” would stay with dying soldiers to keep them company. Such stories bear witness to the loyalty of animals. Dick, a black retriever messenger dog, was wounded in action but recovered enough to resume his duties. He developed a limp, grew weaker, and had to be put down. A postmortem showed that he’d been working with a bullet lodged in his chest and a shell splinter close to his spine.
Remembering all the humans that have suffered and died at war.