A small Last Post

I didn’t feel that I had the emotional energy to write another post about Anzac Day, but my son took some photos of our dog, Jack, wearing a Red Poppy……

and the very sweetness of them has inspired me to write one small, last post. It is a tribute to the animals who were as much a part of the Gallipoli campaign, and the First World War, as any human being.  There are some wonderful Anzac stories about these animals. One particularly famous animal is a donkey, used for bearing the wounded from Gallipoli. The donkey was awarded a RSPCA Purple Cross for animal bravery in war.

However,  it is the inscriptions on the  Animals in War   Memorial situated on the eastern edge of Hyde Park, London, that best sums up my feelings about the contributions our animal friends  have made to our man-made wars

This monument is dedicated to all the animals
that served and died alongside British and allied forces
in wars and campaigns throughout time” (First inscription)

They had no choice“(Second inscription)

Many and various animals were employed to support British and Allied Forces in wars and campaigns over the centuries, and as a result millions died. From the pigeon to the elephant, they all played a vital role in every region of the world in the cause of human freedom.
Their contribution must never be forgotten.“(At the rear of the Memorial)

I have not seen this Memorial, unveiled in 2004, but I would certainly like to, one day. In the meantime, my little Jack, will honour his fallen comrades.

Lest we forget

P1020382Footnote: Jack is a diminutive form of the name John.  The soldiers at Gallipoli were referred to as Johnnies and Mehmets by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in his famous words written in 1934.  Anzac soldiers were also known to refer to their Turkish enemies, at the time, as Johnny Turk.

© silkannthreades

37 thoughts on “A small Last Post

  1. Russel Ray Photos

    I haven’t checked my emails yet but I hope you sent me one so I can get your email address.

    Also, I would like a favor. It’s pretty simple I think. Within the next 20 minutes, would you go to my very first posts and LIKE ten of them. It has to be ten. No more. And it has to be before midnight my time, which means you have 20 minutes.

    I’m doing some investigatory work on how WordPress notifies us of views and comments. It seems like there is a pretty significant delay between the act of liking or commenting, and the notification that the act was done.


      1. Russel Ray Photos

        I think you did enough to tell me what I want to know. There definitely is a delay, so now I’ll wait until the statistics get updated to see just how much delay.

        Your LIKEs came through in the notifications but they have not shown up on the posts yet. It will be interesting to see if they do.

        I have had problems in the past with LIKEs not sticking on some posts I visited, and I suspect it’s a bigger problem than I initially thought it was.

  2. aubrey

    There was always some talk that Erich Maria Remarque’s ‘All Quiet On The Western Front’ was a fictional account – no part of the story came from his experience of war. But there is one thing -his description of the screaming of horses after a battle that convinced me: a person could only write about that with such realism and conviction if he had been there, if he had heard those terrible cries. I’m so thankful that the memorial was put up and I too would like to see it one day.

    Good for Jack – doing his bit!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am so thankful I did not have to hear those cries in reality; in my imagination it is bad enough. I am glad Jack only has to do his bit from the side lines.

  3. Clanmother

    We owe a great deal to our beloved fellow travelers.

    “Here, Gentlemen, a dog teaches us a lesson in humanity.”

    Napoleon Bonaparte, after being saved by a Newfoundland after slipping on his ship and falling overboard. He did not know how to swim, and was kept above water by the dog until he could be rescued.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      What a wonderful story. Thank you for adding to my collection of great true stories about our animal friends. Imagine the history of the world if that Newfoundland had not been there to save the day!

        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh I am so pleased to know that. It’s yet another thing I didn’t know about when I was in New York many years ago. Balto’s story is lovely.

  4. Mrs. P

    I hadn’t ever thought about the effect of war on the animals, thank yo for bringing attention to this…another example of war affecting all aspects of life.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed! It is natural for news items to focus on the human tragedies but sometimes there needs to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

  5. lensandpensbysally

    Recently, a friend and I were discussing the devastation that also occurs to the animal world and nature as a result of war. While the human loss is the focus, there is also much destruction that brings a domino effect to the animals, environment and the land. Your commentary made me return to our conversation. While I know that it was hard for you to compose this post, you’ve made a very important point that most do not realize. Thanks.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I appreciate your supportive words. War and conflict are devastating in so very many ways. Even if we live in a peaceful environment we will eventually feel the impact of a war as distant as, say, the one is Syria; there will be global costs in terms of refugees and aid and resources etc. Wars are not isolated events that happen to someone else. They impact on everyone of us.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. Of course he thought we were very annoying putting a poppy on his collar and wanted a meaty treat as compensation for his troubles.

  6. valeriedavies

    What a lovely post… so glad the animals have been honoured… typical of the English I think!
    War Horse must have reminded many people of the fate of animals… I broke my heart over the horses left behind in Palestine in both world wars… cherished and loved by their owners, and then abandoned ( unwillingly) to the local farmers … oh dear……

  7. leapingtracks

    I was in London today. I did not have time to get to the memorial itself, but I have seen it many times in the past. I gave it a silent salute from the office block I was in when your post came through. It is very moving, and so is yours and Jack’s.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. Some of the animals involved in war were greatly loved and treasured but, I agree, it’s still very sad that they had to be there at all.

  8. Anonymous

    Funny enough I was there just a few days ago and took pictures of it even though I live nearby…It is very touching and there are always fresh wreaths.


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