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
Footnote: 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.