A tribute to the war dogs.....
Over the last century, animals have been a vital resource during conflicts, performing a variety of roles from basic transport to searching for explosives. It is estimated that 16 million animals served in the First World War alone. While increasing mechanisation during that conflict meant that the use of ambulances and troop lorries to the front became more common in place of horse-drawn transport, this was not to be the end of animals in the front line. In the years since then mules, elephants, camels and horses, amongst others, have transported men, munitions, rations, equipment and field artillery across difficult terrain. In the Second World War, messenger pigeons proved a vital tool of communication, with more than 200,000 carrier pigeons used by Britain’s armed forces and secret service organisations.
Dogs have guarded military personnel and property, tracked down the enemy, sniffed out explosives and been sent into no man’s land to locate trapped and wounded soldiers. More recently, rats and pigs have also been trained to clear minefields, and the dolphin’s sensitive sonar has been exploited to identify mines in the Persian Gulf.
Over time, the contribution of animals in conflicts has become more widely acknowledged, and in 1943, the Dickin Medal was established for this purpose. Named after Maria Dickin, the founder of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), it was popularly known as the ‘Animals’ Victoria Cross’. Between 1943 and 1949, Dickin Medals were awarded to 54 animals, including 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses and 1 cat, for ‘displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.’ The most recent Dickin Medal was awarded to a search dog, a black Labrador called Sadie, for her work in searching for arms and explosives in Afghanistan.
Alongside their contribution on official duties, animals have also been much valued as mascots, figures of good luck and a source of comfort for those on active service.
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Verification of compliance of the law regarding the heigt of the dog . In former times, large dogs were considered as dangerous. They used a special instrument. If the dog was above a certain hight they were not allowed inside the city walls. Result is a proverb in Holland so called: Niet door de beugel kunnen.... Which means an action of a person that is not decent or legal.
used as ambulances and medical transportation.
This postcard shows three Belgian soldiers with a machine gun carriage being pulled by dogs, 1914 - 1918. Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique.
German military chapel with drum on dog cart Königsberg, 1912.
The success of Major Richardson's dogs in earlier Red Cross campaigns helped to convince the British.
Animals at War.The Atlantic . Bandages retrieved from the kit of a British Dog, ca. 1915. Library of Congress.
Italië, Januari 1909.
Private J. Robert Conroy & Stubby in France.
Stubby with his numerous military decorations.
By the end of the war, Stubby had served in 17 battles. At the Battle of Seicheprey on April 20, 1918, shrapnel from a shell seriously injured Stubby, and he was rushed to a field hospital for treatment and then to a Red Cross hospital for recovery. During his recovery, Stubby went around the hospital and visited wounded soldiers, boosting their morale. Stubby received many awards and medals for his outstanding service, including one awarded by General John Pershing.
Stubby was a Staffordshire terrier mix puppy adopted by Private J. Robert Conroy while he was training for combat. Stubby became the mascot of the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division, and he learned the calls, drills, and salutes. Private Conroy smuggled Stubby onto the SS Minnesota when the division shipped out to France, and Stubby won over the commanding officer when he gave the offi He was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.
It was made by the women of Chateau-Thierry, decorated with various badges, medals, and insignia of World War I.
In the 1940’s a Wire Haired Fox Terrier called “Beauty” pioneered the use of dogs in rescue work. She was owned by PDSA Superintendent, Bill Barnet. Throughout the London bombing raids of World War ll, Beauty saved a total of 63 animals from being buried alive.
Some of the French war dogs that were mentioned in despatches for their services in finding the wounded and acting as scouts and publicly decorated with gold collars.
Yhe only animal to hold the Silver Star, is greeted by his family after return to U.S. He was decorated for heroism in the invasion of Sicily, 1945.
Maria Dickin (1870 - 1951), founder of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) veterinary charity, with her pet pekingese and two local children at her home in Saltdean, Sussex, 31st August 1950. In 1943 the Dickin Medal was established by Maria Dickin in order to award all the animals that had fought and served the British Empire.
Photo by: Marine Corps University.
Serving as War Dog.
Messenger dogs on parade outside their kennels, in France, during World War I.
Wearing a canine gas mask.
A remarkable Messenger Dog with a gas mask.
A French sergeant and his dog wear gas masks on the front lines in World War I. On the horizon, a wounded man is carried on a stretcher.
Rats were a major problem in the trenches. This hunter and terrier show their trophy.
Thre dog is fitted with a parachute harness.
Salvo, who made a record number of drops with the Parachute Regiment.
World War 2, 1940.
World War I.
A German messenger dog with a spool attached to a harness for laying out new electric/telephone line in September of 1917. Bron National Archive Official German Photograph of WWI.
A messenger dog in mid-air while leaping over a German trench, possibly near Sedan, May 1917.
A German dispatch dog carries messages to the front lines during a German offensive, January, 1918.
The British documented the training of their dogs. Here we see how messenger dogs were trained to jump over barbed wire. Bron: The Great War Primary Documents Archive www.gwpda.orgphotos.
A messenger dog makes a successful run and a letter is received, 1914-1918. Bron: The Great War Primary Documents Archive www.gwpda.orgphotos.
Airedale Terriers from Kennel Félix-Faure.
Airedale Terriër relocates telephone wire (signal wire) in the war zone.
Dog ready to send tobacco and sigarettes to the troops at the front'.
A soldier pets his four-legged comrade as another writes a message the dog will be carrying. Bron: The Great War Primary Documents Archive www.gwpda.orgphotos.
YMCA Cigarette Dog delivery service during WW1. 'Mutt' a "trench runner' Frenchie delivered cigarettes and comfort to the soldiers. He was wounded twice and spent most of WW1 boosting moral of the 11th Engineers, shown here carrying cartons of cigarettes for the troops.
Bringing up supplies to an entrenchment on the Rumanian front.
The French war-dog Prusco, was employed in carrying messages from a motor-cycle scout to headquarters. This dog and his companions penetrated the enemy's lines on many occasions.
Posters from the First World War, 1914 - 1918. Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Drawn by dogs through a deserted town.
Soviet soldiers with explosives laden Anti-Tank Dogs, Battle of Moscow.
The "Pup-mobile" (1906) was a dog-cart that ran on the railway track near Nome, Alaska. The weight of railway rolling stock (especially the metal wheels) meant it was drawn by a team of 7 or 8 dogs and had more in common with a dog-sled team than with the European dog-carts."
Used by British forces during World War I, Belgium, circa 1916.
Trained to find live casualties on the battlefield and perform a refind to his handler, leading help to the wounded.
Dog taking a kepi from a wounded soldier back to get the stretcher-bearer.
Waiting for help by a wounded soldier.
Searching for wounded men through scent and hearing.
Flanders, Belgium May 1917.
Rouville, France, 1944.
‘Mark’, a dog ammunition carrier, delivers ammo to a British Bren machine-gun team, Eastern Command, 20 August 1941.
The English Captain Richardson with his dog, in 1914.
French ratcatchers in the French trench during 1e WO. Dogs were faithful and vigilant. Moreover, they ate waste and catches the pests. Mostly they used the Parson Jack Russell terriër.
They were used for catching rats, detection of the enemy, but also to deliver materials such as bandages and ammunition. During 1e WO many tests were done with the use of dogs in the trenches.
Dogs were faithful and vigilant. Moreover, they ate waste and catches the pests. Mostly they used the Parson Jack Russell terriër.
French soldiers in trenches on the Western Front in the company of German Shepherds.
Three Airedale dogs wearing their special gas masks at a Surrey kennel. They are being trained by Lt Col E. H. Richardson, 1939.
Dogs WW1 dog delivering message back Dogs WW1 dog in trenches wtih soldiers.
Messenger dogs and Jasmes, there handler near Villers-Bretonneux, 1918. By Australian War Memorial collection
Richardson helps the French employ canine assistance in sentry work and scouting during World War I, circa 1914. Bron: Photo by Paul Thompson/FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
The history of service dogs dates back in time. Here is a photo circa WW1.
A London crowd gathers to see off Major Edwin Richardson, a World War I pioneer in war-dog training. His bloodhounds helped locate wounded soldiers and later carried messages between outposts during artillery bombardme.
Miss Carter Mullikin, Holton-Arms School. Washington, D.C.,circa 1917. Bron Harris & Ewing Collection Glass Negative.
Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Copyright Nebraska State Historical Society.
Front Royal, Va., August 1942. Dogs are weighed in and given a medical examination.
Dik was a Red Cross war dog in the service of the Belgian Army. He had been wounded on several occasions but continued to "search for the wounded on the battle-field and carry to them medicine and food" and had "learned the difference between the Germans and the Belgians. The postcard was mailed from Tunbridge Wells on 13th May 1915.