“They had no choice”

But they always have our gratitude.

Today, me and my buddies, Barnaby and Freddie, we wore our purple poppies and went to the Animals in War Memorial in Mayfair, London.We were not aware that there was going to be an Animals in War Remembrance Gathering Event that morning at 11am. We knew we had to stay and join in the service.

And they came – hoomans, dogs, donkeys, and horsesAs the service began, there were many readings from representations of the various societies that represents the animals  that served in the First World War.  The animals that were used for transport, communication and companionship. Horses, donkeys, mules and camels carried food, water, ammunition and medical supplies to meant in the front, and dogs and pigeons carried messages. We heard the story of Prince, an Irish Terrier and Collie cross, who made his way from Hammersmith, London  to the trenches in the frontline to find his owner Private Brown. This is one of the many stories of animal faithfulness.

And then they laid the wreaths …It was a sombre event. 

We were very honoured to have been able to participate in this very special Remembrance Gathering Centenary EventThank you hoomans for taking the time to remember and to give thanks to the 16 million plus animals who had no choice.

Mum and I have come every year to remember these animals but this year has been extra special to share it with Barnaby and Freddie. Thank you Mum, Belinda and Julie for taking us to this special Remembrance Gathering.

May’s comment: This year’s event was organised and funded by Dogs Trust and Petplan Charitable Trust. The service was sombre and thoughtful – to hear just some of the stories of over 16 millions animals that served in the First World War.

These archive photos bring to live the animals that were in the First World War.

THE GERMAN ARMY ON THE WESTERN FRONT, 1914-1918 (Q 50671) A German dog, fitted with apparatus for laying telephone wires, walking across muddy ground. The telephone wire is clearly visible stretching out behind the dog from the container carried on its back. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205191877


  1. Jill Keiser

    16 million animals helping out in the First World War! That’s amazing! Thanks for representing animals everywhere who were too far away to get there!

  2. Jane

    Excellent post May!

  3. Julie Entwistle

    Wonderful tribute x

  4. J Taylor

    They also served: Cats, Rabbits,Guinea Pigs, Ferrets and at least one chimpanzee..

  5. Jackie lalwani

    What a lovely tribute to all those animals.
    Just opened Daily Mail to find one pic of u guys
    How wonderful. Cockapoo showing respect.
    Thanks for sharing
    Jackie Deepak and Ellie x

  6. Sarah Johnson

    This is my favourite war memorial by far and I always get a lump in my throat going past it.
    Thank you May for these lovely photos and thank you, Darcy and George, for representing the dogs of London at the memorial event.
    The animals had no choice, indeed. Humans forced them – and sadly many animals are forced to endure suffering in captivity to this day. We may not use them in war so much but animals are still being abused in all kinds of ways in the name of science, entertainment, not to mention intensive food production.

  7. Diane Larowska

    Heartbreaking, thank you, so important to remember that’s not only humans who suffer and are brave in war. The photos are incredible.

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