Museum of Animals in War

Museum of Animals in War Museum for animal veterans aims to honor the legacy of non-human combatants who have sacrificed thei

A very heart-warming photograph of a driver from the Royal Regiment of Artillery, lying in the grass reading. His horse is lying resting on the grass with him. The caption for the photograph taken on the Western Front during WW1 is 'Good Friends'.

The photograph shows the strong bond that often developed between the drivers and their horses.

I am going to feature all the greatest war horse photographs from WW1 I have found and put them on my website, titled ‘War Horses WW1’, and I will put the link to that web page on the next post of this page.

I was going to shut down this page, as I have had a lot of problems with it in the last couple of weeks, which included a major disruption, horrible and nasty comments, and spam.

But I know there are a lot of loyal followers, who have contributed to this page with comments and support. So I decided to put articles on my secure website and people can go to that to read stories, from links on posts to this page.

I have worked a lot on making the website a better reading experience. A lot of people now use mobile devices, especially mobile phones, to access their social media, and you will now find it much better to see images, and if you eyesight is as bad as mine, much easier to read the copy on your mobile phone.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you think the website can be improved in any way.

Thankyou to everyone who has supported this page over the years.

“To the forlorn and despairing wounded soldier, the coming of the Red Cross dog is that of a messenger of hope.”

Trained to walk through battlefields, the red-cross dogs of WW1 played a vital role in helping our injured troops in the trenches. They carried harnesses filled with medical supplies and water to those in need. When the injured could not follow them back to safety, the dog would lead help to them. Trained by Major Edwin Richardson, the four-legged first aiders would even wear gas masks and recognise ally uniforms to help injured troops.

May we always remember the bravery of the services animals keeping our troops safe both on and off the battlefield 🇬🇧🌺


Conditions in the trenches could lead to infestations of disease-spreading pests, particularly rats attracted by food, waste and dead bodies. Cats and dogs were sometimes trained to hunt these vermin and help maintain hygiene in the trenches.

This is the pet dog of the Middlesex Regiment, pictured with its catch of rats in a trench on the Western Front during the First World War. Cats were also kept on board Royal Navy and merchant ships to hunt vermin and protect the food stores from rats – a role they have played throughout history.


"Elmer" the elephant helping to load drums on a transport, India, ca January 1945. Elmer's noted as being gentle as a lamb. (The National Archives)


Tonight's Zoom talk at 7.30pm is on the Battle of Romani, August 1916. This was a major defeat for the Ottomans securing British control of the Sinai Desert and the Suez Canal, and gaining revenge for the defeats at Gallipoli and K*t Al Amara.

To register please email [email protected] before 6.30pm. Requests for details after that time may not be responded to.


New Zealand Mounted Rifleman Roy Carter looks very smart as he poses with his horse in Egypt, 1915. Before long, the NZMR would find themselves presenting a very different image:

"The load carried by a Mounted Rifleman’s horse in the field is considerable, and may be described here in some detail, to give the reader some idea of what is required of these horses in endurance. The description given is of the minimum load … consisting of bare essentials only.

The Mounted Rifleman wore, on his person, a leather bandolier containing 150 rounds of ammunition, bayonet, service rifle, and haversack, the latter usually stuffed with tins of the inevitable ‘bully’ beef and army biscuits. The saddlery on his mount consisted of headstall and bridle, headrope, picketing rope, saddle and blanket. In addition to this the horse carried, slung around his neck, a leather sand muzzle, which was slipped on in place of the nosebag when he had finished his meagre feed, to prevent him eating sand and dirt; this being a bad habit quickly indulged in by many horses when hungry.

In this sand-muzzle the trooper often carried his mess-tin, or ‘billy’ for cooking or making tea, and his dandy brush for grooming. The next item was the horse bandolier, slung around the horse’s neck and containing an additional 90 rounds of ammunition. Strapped on the front of the saddle were two leather wallets, probably containing towel, soap, spare shirt, socks, and what rations the rider could not get into his haversack; strapped on top of these again would be the greatcoat and one blanket.

The men usually set out with forty-eight hours’ rations and an iron ration, while the horse ration for three days (27 lbs) would be carried. This horsefeed would be distributed between two nosebags, tied to the side of the saddle, and a sandbag, round which might be rolled a ground or bivouac sheet, strapped across the rear of the saddle. Also slung to the side of the saddle would be the canvas water-bucket which served the soldier for the watering of his horse and his own ablutions, and his water-bottle. When the Desert was behind them, and our troops were in Palestine, where a sufficiency of water was usually obtainable, two or three water-bottles would be carried by each man."

Lt. A. Briscoe Moore, "The Mounted Rifleman in Sinai and Palestine", pp. 45-7.



Sefton was a British Army horse who served for 17 years from 1967 to 1984, coming to prominence when he was critically injured in the Hyde Park and Regent's Park IRA terrorist bombings which, combined, killed seven other horses and eleven people.

We will never forget.

The Army in London - HQ London District
ASA Forces Charity Sc048597
Ancre Somme Association Scotland


Today marks 40 years since the day of the horrors of the Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings in London. On the morning of 20th July 1982, eleven soldiers and seven army horses lost their lives to a terrorist attack.

Cavalry horses Sefton and Yeti and Metropolitan police horse, Echo, who survived the attack, were retired from their duties to us, at the time known as The Home of Rest, to live out the remainder of their days in the peace and tranquillity of the Chiltern Hills.

Today we take a moment out of our day to remember those that sadly lost their lives.

Read more about Sefton, Echo and Yeti on our website:

Sefton(pictured right) and Echo(pictured left)


This is what it looks like when a soldier reunites with the Navy working dog he patrolled with in Afghanistan years ago.


During this week in 1943, a dog becomes a World War II hero. Chips was a German shepherd-collie-husky mix who’d traveled with the U.S. Army from New York to Europe.

His family knew they had a special dog on their hands. When the Army put out a call for good dogs who could serve on sentry or patrol duty, the Wren family donated Chips.

“It killed my mother to part with him,” John Wren later said. He was a mere toddler when Chips left for war. “But Chips was strong and smart, and we knew he’d be good.”

In the end, Chips was gone for more than 3 years. During that time, he traveled the world, serving in North Africa, Italy, and France, among other places. He even met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

That’s because he was serving as a guard dog during the Casablanca Conference in January 1943.

Yet Chips is most remembered for his actions on July 10, 1943, as Allied forces began their invasion of Sicily. Chips was with his handler, Pvt. John Rowell, when their squad became pinned down by fire from an Italian machine-gun nest. The determined dog broke free from Rowell and charged.

Our soldiers watched Chips disappear, then they heard a shot ring out. “There was an awful lot of noise,” Rowell later said, “and the firing stopped. Then, I saw one Italian soldier come out the door with Chips at his throat. I called him off before he could kill the man.” Soon three other Italian soldiers emerged with their hands in the air.

Chips had single-handedly forced their surrender.

The encounter left the brave dog with a wound to the scalp and burns around his mouth and eye. Chips didn’t seem to notice. Later that day, he sniffed out 10 enemy soldiers, forcing their capture.

Chips was awarded a Silver Star for his heroism that day. He was also recommended for a Distinguished Service Cross and a Purple Heart, but neither of those would come to be. Some people were objecting to an animal getting such awards. In the end, the Army even reversed the award of the Silver Star.

Nevertheless, Chips received another honor before he returned home. He’d already met Churchill and Roosevelt. Now he met General Dwight Eisenhower, too. The future President reportedly bent down to pet the heroic dog, forgetting that a sentry dog would be trained to bite anyone but his handler.

Let’s just say that Chips didn’t make an exception for the General.

Finally, Chips came home. “I mostly remember when I saw him in the cage,” John Wren later remembered, “and realized that was my dog coming home. I was quite excited, as was everybody.”

Chips had one last act of heroism in him. He hadn’t been home for more than a few months when he’d saved little John’s life.

“My mother told me the story about how we were all at Quogue Beach one day,” Wren recalled, “and I wandered out to the water. Suddenly the undertow took me under, and Chips was the only one who saw it happen. He ran into the water and pulled me out by my swim trunks. He was quite an animal.”

Sadly, Chips didn’t get to enjoy too much of his retirement. Seven months after he came home, he passed away of kidney failure. His family would later receive one last honor on his behalf, though. Just a few years ago, Chips was awarded the Dickin Medal, which is the highest honor for an animal’s wartime bravery.

John Wren flew to London, England, to receive the award on Chips’s behalf.

“[I]t really made me feel great to see him finally receive some recognition as a special creature,” Wren concluded, “which, in our view, he was.”

If you enjoy these history posts, please see my note below. :)

Gentle reminder: History posts are copyright © 2013-2022 by Tara Ross. I appreciate it when you use the shar e feature instead of cutting/pasting.


British soldier retrieving bandages from the kit of a dog during WWI, 1915


Meet Mutt, the ‘very good boy’ who brought ci******es to soldiers in the trenches of WW1.
Soldiers of the 11th Engineers were treated to ci******es when the trench running dog visited them in 1918 in the Aisne-Marne operation.


On the MEMO blog: ahead of the 20th anniversary of the formal end to rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, we've published "K-9 Courage: The Working Dogs of 9/11," a collection of photos and stories highlighting the incredible dogs involved with the Herculean efforts. Read about Bretagne, pictured here, and so many other four-legged heroes:


A German dog hospital (In German: "Hunde Lazarett"), treating wounded messenger dogs (Melde Hunde) coming from the front, ca. 1918.

Dogs had a vital part to play in World War One as the complexes of trenches spread throughout the Western Front. It is estimated that by 1918, Germany had employed 30,000 dogs, Britain, France and Belgian over 20,000 and Italy 3000.

The dogs were positioned in a variety of roles, depending on their size, intelligence and training. Generally, the roles fell into the category of sentry dogs, scout dogs, casualty dogs, explosive dogs, ratters and mascot dogs.

America, at first, did not use dogs except to utilise a few hundred from the Allies for specific missions.
Later, after a chance stowaway, the USA produced the most decorated and highly-ranked service dog in military history, Sergeant Stubby.

National Archive / Official German Photograph of WWIBilderdienst Süddeutscher Verlag.


His name is Cartridge. He works as an explosives sniffing dog with the Ukraine military in the Chernihiv region. He likes cheese.


AKC Museum Of The Dog Announces “Dogs Of War And Peace” Exhibit

New York, NY – The AKC Museum of the Dog is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, “Dogs of War and Peace,” open March 16 through July 19, 2022. Read more:


"Horse with a gas mask, United Kingdom, March 27th, 1940"


On the left, USMC Private Francis Hall and his dog on Iwo Jima, 1945.

On the right, Marine Corps dog teams moving into the lines on Iwo Jima.

Dogs were used to detect danger, sniff out enemy positions, and bolster security at night when human senses were significantly more limited.

Each USMC war dog was assigned a service record book (bottom) in which trainers and handlers would record everything from the dog's missions to personality and psychological disposition.

These records were kept meticulously not only for official record, but also so that when the dogs were returned to the original owners after the war, they would know where their dogs had been and what they had achieved.

One such entry recorded:

War dog Cookie was on one combat patrol.
While on nightly security duty during the
Guam operations this dog alerted [on] 10
Japanese soldiers, six of which were killed.
This dog carried a vital message from an
out-post to the division CP, of which there
were no other means of communication."

Another, sadly, recorded this message for the dog's original owner:

War dog Emmy was on 3 combat patrols
during the Guam operation. Missing in
action while on patrol.


Meet Mutt the very good boy who brought ci******es to soldiers in the trenches of WWI. Soldiers of the 11th Engineers were treated to ci******es when Mutt, a YMCA trench runner loaded with ci******es, visited them in 1918 in the Aisne-Marne operation during World War I. Mutt was by far not the only dog with a job in WWI


In 1925, diphtheria affected an isolated village in Alaska. Due to the severe cold, it was not possible to transport the medicines by plane and ship, so the transport of the medicines to the town of Noma was organized with the help of mushers (guides or drivers of a dog sled team).

About 1200 miles had to be covered in five days. There were several teams and they took turns on different sections. The Norwegian Gunnar Kasen and his main dog Balto were the first to bring the serum to the village.

It turned out that Kasen had not made a mistake in choosing the main dog, because when the team had an accident, Balto helped his musher, saving him from certain death.

When the storm reached its peak and visibility became low they crossed 52 miles. Balto is considered a hero, and in 1925 a monument was erected to him in Central Park in New York.

He was truly a hero, like all the other dogs during this mission. However, the dog that did the most difficult part of the work was Togo who crossed the longest distance (418 kilometers). He was part of Leonardo Seppala team of dogs. Togo is the husky, in the photo.

Togo was already known for his incredible leadership qualities, which he demonstrated again in this race.

The mission was successfully completed and these brave dogs saved numerous lives.


I’ve seen others posting about the new Channing Tatum movie “Dog” so I wanted to put my thoughts out there. Every time a dog breed is featured in a film, there is a surge in ownership of that breed, without understanding of what that breed is. Malinois are serious dogs, and need a LOT of training. They are amazing, intelligent, driven dogs, but not for most homes. If you see the movie and think, “ it’d be really cool to have a dog like that,” just don’t. You’ll be in over your head, and with a Mal that can be dangerous. So appreciate them, read books about all the cool stuff they have done in war zones, but don’t think that translates to a dog that is content to sleep on the sofa 22 hours a day. As an example of this I present the photo of 2 kitted out special forces soldiers in training, and the most dangerous weapons these guys are carrying wear basket muzzles.


#1 Exhausted men and dogs of a Belgian machine gun section resting by the roadside in Louvain (Leuven), during the retreat to Antwerp, 20 August 1914.


Special Pigeon Coop Designed to Withstand Gas Attacks, Germany, c. 1917


Members of the 1st Australian Pigeon Section carrying pigeons in baskets.

Lae, New Guinea - 12th June, 1944


A mercy dog (also known as an ambulance dog, Red Cross dog, or casualty dog) was a dog that served in a paramedical role in the military, most notably during WW1.

They were often sent out after large battles, where they would seek out wounded soldiers; and trench warfare suited their use.

They carried first-aid supplies that could then be used by wounded soldiers, and comforted dying soldiers who were mortally wounded.

They were also trained to guide combat medics to soldiers who required extensive care. Many mercy dogs were trained by national Red Cross societies to serve the country in which the specific society operated.

As many as 20,000 dogs are estimated to have served as mercy dogs in WW1 and WW2, and they have been credited with saving thousands of lives. Such dogs were also used by the United States in the Korean War.

A dog's sense of scent and acute hearing enabled the dog to detect the sound of the breathing of a wounded person when inaudible to the human ear.

Moreover, a puff of wind often suffices to carry to the dog's nose the scent of a soldier lying possibly unconscious in some concealed place.

Lest We Forget.

Information and photograph came from Wikipedia.


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