World Horse Welfare attends Animal Remembrance Service to mark huge contribution of horses in war
The huge contribution made by millions of animals in military conflicts was remembered on9 November 2012as dogs, horses and a mule attended a special remembrance service at the Animals in War monument onLondon’sPark Lane.
The animals attended the event alongside many of theUK’s animal welfare and advocacy organisations who laid wreaths in memory and admiration of all the animals that died whilst serving alongside their human allies.
World Horse Welfare Field Officer Nick White attended the service: “I was proud to be asked to present a wreath at the Annual Remembrance Service for Animals in War in memory and respect of all the horses, donkeys, ponies, mules and other animals who gave their lives and continue to give their lives in conflict and war for their countries.
“It is vitally important to remember the animals lost in war. Their contribution is inestimable. Caring for a horse or having a dog to accompany you in the trenches would have done so much to lift the spirits of the men and give them extra incentive to keep going”.
Although the contribution made by animals in war has recently received international recognition with films such as War Horse, The Animals in War monument was only unveiled by HRH the Princess Royal in November 2004, 90 years after the start of World War I. Trustees of the Animals in War Memorial Fund raised the £2 million needed to build the monument through a national appeal and the consequent generosity of many individual donors, charities and companies.
Eight million horses and donkeys died in the First World War whilst transporting ammunition and supplies to the frontline. Many mules also served courageously on the Western Front and in the overwhelming heat ofBurma,EritreaandTunisiaduring World War II. They were represented today by Polo the Mule alongside The Irish Draught Horse Society (GB), The Donkey Sanctuary, The Horse Trust, The British Mule Society, World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Household Cavalry, The Brooke and Blue Cross
Many other animals served bravely throughout the years, including elephants, camels, oxen, bullocks, cats, canaries and even glow worms.
The Animals in War Memorial service is organised by Dogs Trust and the Petplan Charitable Trust. Animals in attendance this year include: three horses from the Household Cavalry led byCaptainRupertHills, Polo the Mule accompanied by The British Mule Society and chocolateLabradorLouie accompanied by Dogs Trust.
Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin OBE, commented: “The Animals in War Memorial is a fitting tribute to the millions of animals who, through no choice of their own, served bravely alongside our servicemen and woman during military conflicts. Their contribution, whatever their size will be remembered forever with our sincerest thanks.”
Hannah Baker Press Officer
020 7833 7616 Hannah Macey Senior Press Officer 020 7833 7608 Suzanne Hunt
World Horse Welfare Press Officer 01953 497248
Hundreds of dogs were used to run messages, lay telegraph wires, detect mines, dig out bomb victims and act as patrol dogs. Many of these bold dogs battled on despite suffering injuries, showing courage beyond belief and loyalty to their handlers. They were represented by Louie the Labrador alongside Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, PDSA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, RSPCA, Greyhound Rescue, Irish Terriers, NOWZAD and the Retired Greyhound Trust.
More than 300,000 pigeons served Britain in the First and Second World War. They saved thousands of lives by carrying vital messages, over long distances. These feathered heroes struggled on through all weathers, often injured and exhausted in order to carry the vital messages. The Royal Pigeon Racing Association paid Tribute today.
Those in attendance included:
Clarissa Baldwin OBE, Dogs Trust CEO
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust
Nigel Yeo, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
Steve Goody and ZairBerry, Blue Cross
Jo Barnes, British Mule Society
Chris Watson, Cats Protection
Martin Taggart, The Donkey Sanctuary
Sue Morrison, Greyhound RescueWales
Catherine Napper and Jeanette Allen, Horse Trust
CaptRupertHIlls, Household Cavalry
Vanessa Amoroso, IFAW
Norma Grubb, Director of the Irish Draught Horse Society (GB)
Rosemary Smart and Steven Dean, The Kennel Club
Nicola Markwell and Lynn Cutress, Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Richard Hooker, PDSA
Pen Farthing, NOWZAD
Peter Laurie, Retired Greyhound Trust CEO
Stewart Wardrop, Royal Pigeon Racing Association
Gavin Grant and Kevin Degenhard, RSPCA
Nick White, World Horse Welfare
Ted Chandler and Cath Bourg, Petplan Charitable Trust
Emma Nelson, War Memorials Trust
Major Iain Rose, Army Veterinary Services
Jane Galloway and Brenda Fenton, Irish Terriers