Sunday, 9 November 2008
A WW1 Cavalry Horse)GOODBYE OLD MAN
Today is Remembrance Sunday l decided to ‘Remember’ the unsung heroes of war and peacetime. The animals that have often been used and loved or in many cases abused.
Like the tank dogs of the soviet nation during the Second World War, trained to carry mines on their backs and taught that food was under tanks they were sent out after Germans.
Animals of all species have been used in wars and caught up in them. Some are recognised, carrier pigeons, dogs, a cat and many other’s have been awarded the famous Dickens Medal, which has been described as “The Animals Victoria Cross”.
All too many other animals are forgotten by people and history. The dolphins and other marine and land mammals being trained for covert or general work. Canary's and small birds were used to look for gas and Pigeons carrry and other birds are trained to help humans.
To give an idea of the destruction wrought on horses. (Thanks to Veterinary Review for the figures) There were 6 million tones of fodder shipped to the Front during the First World War, yet the horses still suffered malnutrition and neglect due to the horrific conditions that man and animal shared.
Between 1916 -1918 approximately 58,000 horses were killed, nearly 3000 were victims of poison gas.
At the end of the war they were sold off to other countries. To prevent this many cavalry officers shot their own horses to spare them further misery.
The above figures do not take into account other wars around the world where animals serve/ed before or after the great and second world wars.
There is the peacetime serving horses and dogs. Especially police dogs who often give their lives. Although serving horses have become victims of war like the horses caught in the horrific IRA nail bomb attack in the 80s in London or have been attacked in other ways in their line of work.
Search and rescue dogs that may work near home or be sent worldwide to zones of destruction to work in terrible conditions.
Guide dogs and other guide animals that allow their owners and handlers to live almost normal lives despite often sever handicaps.
Even our own pets who are family members and have been a part of our lives and in being so bring a depth that may be missing otherwise.
In Thanks and Remembrance of Them All