Remembrance Sunday, a Moment to Reflect
In Great Britain, Remembrance (or Armistice Day) is observed by a tribute of silence at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, when hostilities of the Great War ended. The Great War was followed by the Second World War merely two decades later - a conflict that resulted in the deaths of up to 60 million people. On top of this figure were an unprecedented number of animal fatalities, with countless horses, mules, camels and dogs perishing in the line of duty.
On Remembrance Sunday we remember the men and women who have fought and died for us. We also pause and give thanks to the animals of War.
Eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War alone. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front, dogs were used to carry messages in the trenches and cats to kill the rats that thrived in such appalling conditions.
The War Horse Memorial in London is dedicated to the millions of UK, Commonwealth and Allied horses, mules and donkeys killed during the First World War.
The bronze statue of a horse with its head bowed, barbed wire around its hooves, stands in Ascot, and has come to symbolise all animals who have given service and sacrifice in war.
The ‘Animals in War’ Memorial in London’s Hyde Park is inscribed with the words ‘They had no choice,’ yet unreservedly they applied their strength, perseverance, loyalty and intelligence in a way that influenced the course and success of the British and Allied war effort.