RSPCA workers took part in a special memorial service yesterday (November 11, 2012) in remembrance of the role played by animals and the charity’s staff in both World Wars.
RSPCA workers took part in a special memorial service, organised by the Dogs Trust, in remembrance of the role played by animals and the charity’s staff in both World Wars.
During the service – which took place at the Animals in War Memorial in Park Lane yesterday (November 11, 2012) – the animal welfare charity claimed the roles of animals in the wars are “inevitably overshadowed” by the human cost of the conflicts, but stressed their contribution “should not be forgotten”. The charity also paid respects to the 23 RSPCA staff members who lost their lives in both wars.
RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant said: “Animals have loyally served man in peace and war. At this time of year we take the opportunity to thank them for their loyalty and courage and to remember the fallen.
“We remember those animals and birds which served as messengers and transporters as well as mascots, friends and companions to our fellow men and women in peril, afraid, wounded and dying in the services and at home.”
According to the charity, hundreds of thousands of horses, mules, pigeons, dogs and other animals carried supplies, ammunition, communications and even detected mines during the wars. Other, more unusual, animals used by the forces have included elephants, camels, dolphins – which were trained to lay mines at sea – and even mongooses, which were used to detect land mines.
Staff also took part in the Cenotaph service yesterday, where chief inspector Lee Hopgood laid a wreath and 24 officers walked in the parade.