In commemoration of Anzac Day, we honour those who served & those in service today. We also regard those facing conflict, & the work of caring for one another, including animals, in times of war.
This amazing photo shows an army doctor treating the injured paw of a Red Cross dog. Taken in Flanders, France in 1916. Red Cross dogs played a vital role in searching for wounded soldiers. Upon finding a soldier, these dogs would take an item belonging to the injured person back to their master. At the end of the First World War, it is believed that red poppies were amongst the first plants to grow on the razed battlefields of northern France & Belgium. Legend has it that the bright red of the poppies came from the blood-soaked ground of fallen soldiers.
Australian Veterinarians actually served in both World Wars. From 1909 to 1946 the Australian Army Veterinary Corps (AAVC) worked in veterinary care of war horses. 120 officers of the AAVC served overseas in the Australian Imperial Force during WWI alone! Mechanization in war saw these horses become redundant, & therefore also the Veterinary Corps’ main work. However, care for many other important animals went on; red cross & messenger dogs, ship cats, camels for travel in the deserts of northern Africa, donkeys were used to ambulance wounded during the Gallipoli campaign, messenger homing Pigeons, & the many mascots to build up troop morale - like Tilly the goat in Papua WWII (she loved eating the soldiers cigarette butts!), Denton the ‘dynamic duck’ in Vietnam, Aussies took him in & he travelled with them in tanks for good luck! Aircrew the infamous tabby cat mascot for the RAAF flying school. Corporal Buzz was a small monkey mascot for the Aussie troops in Libya. Apparently he enjoyed reading the newspaper with soldiers. Others included a Rooster (perhaps not the best if trying to hide), a Cockatoo (with a foul mouth), a Kangaroo & Koala, strewth!
So many animals... someone had to care for them. We salute those who put their hand (& paw) up to the call of duty. We salute you!
#anzac #anzacday #veterinarian #redcross #flanders #poppy #remembrance #veterinarycorp #australianwarmemorial
Source: Australian War Memorial.
Image courtesy Alamy