By Jilly Cooper
Jilly Cooper has written a tribute to the function of animals in wartime. From the pigeons wearing important messages to and from the beleaguered urban throughout the Seige of Paris to canine sniffing out mines for the British invasion strength in global struggle II. A shiny list of man's inhumanity to animals, and an awesome tale of braveness.
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Extra resources for Animals in War
After three months, the strain on the Army Veterinary Department was so great that on 5 November, the Army Council climbed down and wrote that they would be very grateful if the RSPCA would help them find more veterinary staff to join the Corps. There must have been many a quiet laugh at RSPCA headquarters when the Council also humbly added that they would now be very happy if the RSPCA set up an official fund to provide hospital equipment for the sick horses. As a result, the Society collected and trained 200 men, and its staff gave talks to hundreds of soldiers throughout the country on the care of horses.
He tells a poignant story that during the retreat from Mons, a shell crashed into the middle of his section. As the gun was wrecked, he was immediately ordered on to another. As he mounted his new horse, and continued the retreat, he saw his old horses flailing on the ground, and was relieved when a French chasseur rushed up and cut the traces. Seeing their old driver ahead, they followed him for four days. We stopped for hardly five minutes, and I couldn’t get back to them. They were in the line watching me so anxiously and sorrowfully as to make me feel guilty.
The incensed Dragoons found it hard to identify their horses (give an Australian half an hour with a horse, and tails are changed, manes hogged, and brands and marks disappear like magic) and complained bitterly to Plumer. He was totally unsympathetic, telling them they could learn a few lessons in tactics and toughness from the bushmen. He was less amused however when someone stole his fine grey charger and dyed it with Condy’s fluid. The General with his eyeglass picked out the horse from the Australian lines, and the guilty bushman was made to walk for a day beside his mounted comrades.
Animals in War by Jilly Cooper