After reading the string on Tim Murphy?s need of a dog, I thought that this reply to a letter in ?Family History? magazine might be of interest. .
?On 23 November 2004, The Princes Royal( Princess Anne) unveiled a memorial to the animals that served and died alongside British and allied troops in wars and campaigns throughout time.
The monument, at Brook Gate in Park Lane, central London, depicts two mules, a horse and a dog, together with lists of the number of animals lost in conflicts.
It honours all animals used in war, including horses, dogs, dolphins, elephants, pigeons and even glow worms.
The monument pays special tribute to the 60 animals awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal - the animals equivalent of the Victoria Cross - since 1943.
They include 54 animals - 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, three horses and a cat - commended for their service in World War II. Among these heroes were Rob, a para-dog who made more than 20 parachute drops while serving with the SAS on top-secret missions in Africa and Italy(WWII), and , more recently Buster, a six-year-old Springer spaniel, who won it for his service in Iraq in 2003, when he discovered a hidden cache of explosives inthe southern city of Safwan.
Eight million horses were killed in WWI alone, carrying men, arms, and supplies into battle. 200,000 pigeons were used as messengers in WWII - of 17,000 parachuted into enemy territory, fewer than one in eight returned. Dogs have been used to hunt mines and search for the wounded and are still routinely used today.
Mules were used as transport in the Burmese jungle, with their vocal chords cut to keep them quiet. Camels, oxen and elephants were used for similar purposes elsewhere.
Dolphins and sea-lions are used today to find underwater mines and protect ships. And glow worms were used in WWI as an aid for map reading.?
I especially like the piece about Rob and Buster, a couple of real heroes.