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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Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart with artillery gun
Dogcart with artillery gun

WWI Belgium.

Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart with police officers.
Dogcart with police officers.

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.

Dogcart,
Dogcart,

used as ambulances and medical transportation.

Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart with soldiers.
Dogcart with soldiers.

This postcard shows three Belgian soldiers with a machine gun carriage being pulled by dogs, 1914 - 1918. Bibliotheque Royale de Belgique.

Official Austrian Red Cross card.
Official Austrian Red Cross card.
WW1 Belgian military dogs.
WW1 Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
WWI Belgian military dogs.
Warfare dogs, mastiffs.
Warfare dogs, mastiffs.

Belgium.

Warfare cart dogs.
Warfare cart dogs.
Warfare dogs, mastiffs.
Warfare dogs, mastiffs.

Belgium.

Warfare cart dogs.
Warfare cart dogs.
Dogcart.
Dogcart.

German military chapel with drum on dog cart Königsberg, 1912.

Military warfare dogs.
Military warfare dogs.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Dogcart used in warfare.
Warfare 1914-1918.
Warfare 1914-1918.
Red Cross dog.
Red Cross dog.

The success of Major Richardson's dogs in earlier Red Cross campaigns helped to convince the British.

Red Cross dog.
Red Cross dog.
World War I  Animals at War.
World War I Animals at War.

Animals at War.The Atlantic . Bandages retrieved from the kit of a British Dog, ca. 1915. Library of Congress.

Red Cross dog named 'Bruce'.
Red Cross dog named 'Bruce'.
Red Cross dog.
Red Cross dog.

Italië, Januari 1909.

Bloodhounds.
Bloodhounds.
Sergeant Stubby.
Sergeant Stubby.
Stubby in his great coat.
Stubby in his great coat.
Sergeant Stubby.
Sergeant Stubby.

Private J. Robert Conroy & Stubby in France.

Sergeant Stubby.
Sergeant Stubby.

Stubby with his numerous military decorations.

Sergeant Stubby.
Sergeant Stubby.

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.

Sergeant Stubby.
Sergeant Stubby.

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.

Stubby wearing a chamois blanket.
Stubby wearing a chamois blanket.

It was made by the women of Chateau-Thierry, decorated with various badges, medals, and insignia of World War I.

Bill Barnet & Beauty.
Bill Barnet & Beauty.

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.

French War Dogs.
French War Dogs.

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.

Canine heroes about to be decorated with gold collars.
Canine heroes about to be decorated with gold collars.
War dog 'Chips'.
War dog 'Chips'.

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.
Maria Dickin.

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.

War Dog Kennels on Hog Island.
War Dog Kennels on Hog Island.
German Shepherd.
German Shepherd.

Serving as War Dog.

Messenger Dogs.
Messenger Dogs.

Messenger dogs on parade outside their kennels, in France, during World War I.

Finnish dog.
Finnish dog.

Wearing a canine gas mask.

WW1
WW1

A remarkable Messenger Dog with a gas mask.

A French sergeant and his dog.
A French sergeant and his dog.

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.

Dog with gas mask, 1918.
Dog with gas mask, 1918.
The war on the trench pest. Rat-hunter with a bag of rodents killed by the dog.
The war on the trench pest. Rat-hunter with a bag of rodents killed by the dog.
WWI France 1916.
WWI France 1916.

Rats were a major problem in the trenches. This hunter and terrier show their trophy.

WW II Military working dog.
WW II Military working dog.

Thre dog is fitted with a parachute harness.

Salvo.
Salvo.

Salvo, who made a record number of drops with the Parachute Regiment.

Finnich Forces messenger dogs.
Finnich Forces messenger dogs.

World War 2, 1940.

The mailman....
The mailman....
Messenger Dog Training.
Messenger Dog Training.

World War I.

A messenger dog.
A messenger dog.

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.

Messenger dog.
Messenger dog.

A messenger dog in mid-air while leaping over a German trench, possibly near Sedan, May 1917.

Messenger dog.
Messenger dog.

A German dispatch dog carries messages to the front lines during a German offensive, January, 1918.

French War Dog,1919.
French War Dog,1919.
Messenger dogs.
Messenger dogs.

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.

Messenger dog.
Messenger dog.

A messenger dog makes a successful run and a letter is received, 1914-1918. Bron: The Great War Primary Documents Archive www.gwpda.orgphotos.

Red Cross wardogs.
Red Cross wardogs.
Ambulance Dogs WW I.
Ambulance Dogs WW I.

Airedale Terriers from Kennel Félix-Faure.

Working Wardog.
Working Wardog.

Airedale Terriër relocates telephone wire (signal wire) in the war zone.

World War I.
World War I.

Dog ready to send tobacco and sigarettes to the troops at the front'.

Messenger dog.
Messenger dog.

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.

Wardog 'Mutt'.
Wardog 'Mutt'.

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.

Austro-Hungarian Dog team.
Austro-Hungarian Dog team.

Bringing up supplies to an entrenchment on the Rumanian front.

War dog 'Prusco'.
War dog 'Prusco'.

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.

Airedale Postal-Dog in WWII.
Airedale Postal-Dog in WWII.
'Even a dog enlists, why not you'.
'Even a dog enlists, why not you'.

Posters from the First World War, 1914 - 1918. Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

A French Red Cross ambulance.
A French Red Cross ambulance.

Drawn by dogs through a deserted town.

Soviet soldiers, 1941.
Soviet soldiers, 1941.

Soviet soldiers with explosives laden Anti-Tank Dogs, Battle of Moscow.

Austro-Hungarian Army, 1916.
Austro-Hungarian Army, 1916.
Austro-Hungarian Army, WWI.
Austro-Hungarian Army, WWI.

1941-1945.

WW1.
WW1.
Military dogs.
Military dogs.
The "Pup-mobile" (1906).
The "Pup-mobile" (1906).

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."

WWI Unseen images from the front.
WWI Unseen images from the front.
Dogs used in warfare.
Dogs used in warfare.
Warfare dog with mask 1919.
Warfare dog with mask 1919.
Wardogs  in the trenches.
Wardogs in the trenches.

Belgium.

Working military pit bull.
Working military pit bull.
Working military pit bull.
Working military pit bull.
Two Belgian shepherd, France 1915.
Two Belgian shepherd, France 1915.
A pack horse.
A pack horse.

Used by British forces during World War I, Belgium, circa 1916.

WWI Ambulance or Red Cross dog,1915.
WWI Ambulance or Red Cross dog,1915.

Trained to find live casualties on the battlefield and perform a refind to his handler, leading help to the wounded.

Red Cross Collie,1909 Italy.
Red Cross Collie,1909 Italy.
Talisman of York.
Talisman of York.

Lancaster Regiment.

War dog.
War dog.

Dog taking a kepi from a wounded soldier back to get the stretcher-bearer.

Red Cross War Dog.
Red Cross War Dog.

Waiting for help by a wounded soldier.

Ambulance dogs.
Ambulance dogs.

Searching for wounded men through scent and hearing.

A WWI allied soldier bandages the paw of a Red Cross working dog
A WWI allied soldier bandages the paw of a Red Cross working dog

Flanders, Belgium May 1917.

British soldier with a wounded German war dog Fritz
British soldier with a wounded German war dog Fritz

Rouville, France, 1944.

Warfare dog.
Warfare dog.

‘Mark’, a dog ammunition carrier, delivers ammo to a British Bren machine-gun team, Eastern Command, 20 August 1941.

World War One.
World War One.

The English Captain Richardson with his dog, in 1914.

French ratcatchers 1e WO.
French ratcatchers 1e WO.

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.

Dogs in the trenches during 1e WO.
Dogs in the trenches during 1e WO.

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.

Warfare dogs.
Warfare dogs.

Dogs were faithful and vigilant. Moreover, they ate waste and catches the pests. Mostly they used the Parson Jack Russell terriër.

2e WO
2e WO

French soldiers in trenches on the Western Front in the company of German Shepherds.

Dogs used in warfare.
Dogs used in warfare.
WW1 French Red Cross dog , 1917.
WW1 French Red Cross dog , 1917.
WWI.
WWI.
WW11.
WW11.

Three Airedale dogs wearing their special gas masks at a Surrey kennel. They are being trained by Lt Col E. H. Richardson, 1939.

A Canine Courier Of The Great War.British official photograph, by Associated Illustration Agencies,
A Canine Courier Of The Great War.British official photograph, by Associated Illustration Agencies,

Dogs WW1 dog delivering message back Dogs WW1 dog in trenches wtih soldiers.

Corporal James Coull.
Corporal James Coull.

Messenger dogs and Jasmes, there handler near Villers-Bretonneux, 1918. By Australian War Memorial collection

Dog trainer Major Edwin Richardson.
Dog trainer Major Edwin Richardson.

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.

Major Edwin Richardson.
Major Edwin Richardson.

The history of service dogs dates back in time. Here is a photo circa WW1.

Major Edwin Richardson.
Major Edwin Richardson.

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.

Red Cross Dog.
Red Cross Dog.

Miss Carter Mullikin, Holton-Arms School. Washington, D.C.,circa 1917. Bron Harris & Ewing Collection Glass Negative.

Assisting nurses,1940's.
Assisting nurses,1940's.
War dog getting vaccinations.
War dog getting vaccinations.

Fort Robinson, Nebraska. Copyright Nebraska State Historical Society.

Reception center for war dogs.
Reception center for war dogs.

Front Royal, Va., August 1942. Dogs are weighed in and given a medical examination.

Dik: A dog of Belgium.
Dik: A dog of Belgium.

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.