Animals played vital roles in WWI
They were messengers, spies and sentinels. They led cavalry charges, carried supplies to the front, comforted wounded soldiers and died by the millions during World War I.
Horses, mules, dogs, pigeons and even a baboon all were a vital and for decades overlooked part of the Allied war machine.
Researchers have been hard-pressed to find official accounts of the services rendered by animals during the Great War. But if their labors once were taken for granted, four-legged and winged warriors have been acknowledged more recently as unsung heroes.
France recently decided to recognize their wartime role. And in 2004, Britain installed a huge memorial on the edge of London’s Hyde Park to “all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century.”