I did my project on the Canadian Animal War Memorial, which if you can’t guess from the name of it, is a memorial dedicated to the animals who served in wartime. So few people know about the thousands of animals that fought and died alongside human soldiers. It’s really time someone let the rest of the world know. And I know I’m not the only person who feels that way.
An award, to be given to animals alone, was created – The Dickin Medal. Horses, dogs, cats, canaries, rats, and even stranger things like dolphins, monkeys, goats, and even bumble bees and glow worms, were, and still are a huge part of wars everywhere.But while humans can get on the phone, or stand in front of an audience and talk about their wartime experiences, animals don’t have that ability.
An incredible story, about an incredible Newfoundland dog, is the true story of Gander.Gander was donated to the war effort, under the name, Pal, after he bit his previous owner’s son. He wasn’t really aggressive. He was loyal and dependable. Once, when he was in the trenches with the other soldiers, a grenade came sailing into the trench.
Nobody knew what they should do, but Gander had the situation under control.He picked the grenade up and ran away with it. Sadly, Gander was killed in the explosion, but because of him, those soldiers survived.
There are hundreds of stories about animals doing amazing things, like, Bonfire, a horse belonging to a medic, or a mascot goat that was brought aboard a submarine, and lived to tell the tale, and of course, the one most people know about, Winnie the Pooh. Her name was actually Winnipeg. She was a girl and she had black fur. I’m not sure why so much was changed in the books and movies, but it was. Winnie was found by a soldier as a cub, and became the troop’s mascot. When they had to move out, she was left at a zoo, where she was adored by all the children. Apparently, she was so docile; they were even allowed to ride her!
Animals should be remembered, and recognized for the things they did in wartime, and are still doing today.