Thursday, January 20, 2011

Animals in War Memorial

This is something I forgot to mention when talking about Hyde Park. In the park there is a big memorial to all of the animals that have been involved in wars throughout the centuries. As an animal lover this memorial really touched me. There are so many war memorials but this one is really unique.

This is an excerpt from the website about the Animals in War Memorial "On the lower level, two heavily laden bronze mules struggle through an arena, enclosed by the dominant wall symbolising the war experience. The mules approach a flight of steps that leads through the wall. Beyond the wall, on the upper level, a bronze horse and dog stand facing north into the gardens, bearing witness to the loss of their comrades and representing hope for the future."

And there are two inscriptions, the first one reads:

"This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and Allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time."

I think the second inscription has the most impact:

"They had no choice".

In looking for a few more photos of the monument, I came across some other really interesting photos of animals at war that I thought I would share. Some are cute and heartwarming.

And some are heartwrenching...

Did you know that there was entire encampments set up as veterinary hospitals during WWI?

This is a wonderful article, with many photos of animals involved in The Great War.

Here is an interesting article I found titled "Forgotten Heroes, A Million Horses Sent to Fight in the Great War, 62000 came back."
I recall my boyfriends grandfather telling us one day about how his grandfather had told him that during the war, the government had sent officers to their ranch to requisition horses for use in the war. Thousands of horses were shipped over by boat every week.

The sad thing was that after the war was done, many of the surviving horses were sold to belgian butchers as they thought they weren't good for anything else afterwards. How very sad.

This is a great photo slideshow from the Denver Post showing various animals at war,

I find it so interesting to see how many different kinds of animals were involved in wars around the world. Not just dogs & horses.

I'm also amazed at how many wonderful articles I've found in the process of writing this blog entry. If you are interested, simply do a "Google" search for "Horses in War".

One last photo and a poem to end off this post. It shows how much soldiers cared for the animals that were involved in the war.


  1. I have a book about riding in Hyde Park over the years and it says that a few stables in Hyde Park shut down (there used to be quite a few there) because of WWI as all the riding school horses were requisitioned for war use. It's fitting that the monument got put in the park.

    I reckon that is why that riding school in Montreal that I wrote about, shut down too as the horses were sent overseas.

  2. Thank you for a beautiful post. Another moving quote that sums up animals in war,

    "The question is not can they reason, but can they suffer?"

    When I find myself pining for the days of old when horse power was king, I remember that in our modern times horses no longer suffer on the field of battle.

  3. This was a very touching post. Thank you for sharing about the monument though... so nice to know that the animals who suffered in silence because they didn't have a choice are recognized.