» Site Map

» Home Page

Historical Info

» Find Friends - Search Old Service and Genealogy Records

» History

» QAIMNS for India

» QAIMNS First World War

» Territorial Force Nursing Service TFNS

» WW1 Soldiers Medical Records

» Field Ambulance No.4

» The Battle of Arras 1917

» The German Advance

» Warlencourt Casualty Clearing Station World War One

» NO 32 CCS Brandhoek - The Battle of Passchendaele

» Chain of Evacuation of Wounded Soldiers

» Allied Advance - Hundred Days Offensive

» Life After War

» Auxiliary Hospitals

» War Graves Nurses

» Book of Remembrance

» Example of Mentioned in Despatches Letter

» Love Stories

» Autograph Book World War One

» World War 1 Letters

» Service Scrapbooks

» QA World War Two

» Africa Second World War

» War Diaries of Sisters

» D Day Normandy Landings

» Belsen Concentration Camp

» Italian Sailor POW Camps India World War Two

» VE Day

» Voluntary Aid Detachment

» National Service

» Korean War

» Gulf War

» Op Telic

» Op Gritrock

» Royal Red Cross Decoration

» Colonels In Chief

» Chief Nursing Officer Army

» Director Army Nursing Services (DANS)

» Colonel Commandant

» Matrons In Chief (QAIMNS)

Follow us on Twitter:
Follow qaranchistory on Twitter

» Grey and Scarlet Corps March

» Order of Precedence

» Motto

» QA Memorial National Arboretum

» NMA Heroes Square Paving Stone

» NMA Nursing Memorial

» Memorial Window

» Stained Glass Window

» Army Medical Services Monument

» Recruitment Posters

» QA Association

» Standard

» QA and AMS Prayer and Hymn

» Books

» Museums

Former Army Hospitals


» Army Chest Unit

» Cowglen Glasgow

» CMH Aldershot

» Colchester

» Craiglockhart

» DKMH Catterick

» Duke of Connaught Unit Northern Ireland

» Endell Street

» First Eastern General Hospital Trinity College Cambridge

» Ghosts

» Hospital Ghosts

» Haslar

» King George Military Hospital Stamford Street London

» QA Centre

» QAMH Millbank

» QEMH Woolwich

» Medical Reception Station Brunei and MRS Kuching Borneo Malaysia

» Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich

» Musgrave Park Belfast

» Netley

» Royal Chelsea Hospital

» Royal Herbert

» Royal Brighton Pavilion Indian Hospital

» School of Physiotherapy

» Station Hospital Ranikhet

» Station Hospital Suez

» Tidworth

» Ghost Hunt at Tidworth Garrison Barracks

» Wheatley


» Ambulance Trains

» Hospital Barges

» Ambulance Flotilla

» Hospital Ships


» Berlin

» Hamburg

» Hannover

» Hostert

» Iserlohn

» Munster

» Rinteln

» Wuppertal


» TPMH RAF Akrotiri

» Dhekelia

» Nicosia


» Alexandria


» Shanghai

Hong Kong

» Bowen Road

» Mount Kellett

» Wylie Road Kings Park


» Kamunting

» Kinrara

» Kluang

» Penang

» Singapore

» Tanglin

» Terendak

Overseas Old British Military Hospitals

» Belize

» Falklands

» Gibraltar

» Kaduna

» Klagenfurt

» BMH Malta

» Nairobi

» Nepal

Middle East

» Benghazi

» Tripoli

Field Hospitals

» Camp Bastion Field Hospital and Medical Treatment Facility MTF Helmand Territory Southern Afghanistan

» TA Field Hospitals and Field Ambulances

Animals In The First World War

Review of the book Animals In The First World War by Neil R Storey

Animals in the First World War provides a fascinating insight into the various animals that worked alongside our troops and those that were kept as pets to increase morale. It is full of historical photographs from the Great War displaying their work. Other notable images include enlistment posters such as those for the Army Remount Department.

Historian and author Neil R Storey begins with a general history of animals used during battles and wars. He describes that the first recorded animal distinguished in battle was the horse Bucephalus, the warhorse of Alexander the Great, who despite injuries carried him from the Battle of Hydaspes in 326BC.

Of relevance to readers of this website are examples such as assistant surgeon William Brydon's horse who helped his owner to the gates of Jalalabad from the retreat of Kabul in 1842 during the First Afghan War. This was depicted in the famous painting Remnants of an Army.

There are other medical and nursing references throughout Animals in the First World War and one of which we learnt here for the first time was the use of ambulance dogs of the British Red Cross. These were trained and used to seek out battlefield casualties and were especially useful in detecting those buried by debris. Another example is the fledgling crow that fell from its nest and was nursed by wounded soldiers at Sheffield Base Hospital in 1916.

We were moved to read about Jack, the pet of British nurse Edith Cavell. She was shot by the Germans by firing squad in October 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape from German occupied Belgium. Locals feared being branded sympathisers if they took in her dog and it became ill from neglect and stress. Fortunately the Dowager Duchess of Croy took him in and nursed him so well that he lived into the 1920s. Other moving stories include the dog who followed his master one month after his posting to the front line in France and not only managed to cross the channel but track him down in the trenches and the pet kitten that was found asleep on a dead infantryman's chest after he was killed in action.

The formation of the Army Veterinary Service and the Army Veterinary School in Aldershot is detailed alongside the history of the Army Veterinary Corps. The author also describes the interventions of organisations such as the Blue Cross ODFL (Our Dumb Friends League) and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and their work during the Great War.

A chapter looks at animal mascots of the Forces and interestingly starts with a pig rescued at sea after the German light cruiser Dresden was sunk. It was rescued by a sailor from HMS Glasgow, named Tirpitz, and became their mascot! It also records the first regimental mascot of the British Army as being a goat from the Welsh Fusiliers from the American War of Independence and in later years a bear mascot that was the inspiration for the Winnie the Pooh books.

There are also pictures and descriptions of animals at the Home-front such as the St Bernard with a collection box on his back for the British Red Cross Society.

Its main focus is on the valuable work of a range of animals such as mules, horses and camels in various terrains and how they helped win the war through moved equipment and providing transport. Carrier pigeons also feature in a variety of work such as those trained by the Emergency Pigeon Service to fly from minesweepers with information about newly laid minefields.

This book gains much merit for its large amount of pictures, photos and images that greatly enhances the interesting subject matter. It would make ideal reading material for those with an interest in WWI and our animal friends.

Buy Now.

More Military Book Reviews.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

One last war army novel

An army veteran moves his family into a village, but his nightmare neighbour starts a battle of wits with him. Who will win this One Last War?

Buy my latest novel on Kindle or Paperback.

If you like this page and would like to easily share it with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:


Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.

If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.

This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.

» Contact

» Advertise

» Poppy Lottery

» The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell

» The Drummer Boy Novel

» Regimental Cap Badges Paintings

Read our posts on:

» Facebook

» Instagram

» Twitter


» Army Discounts

» Claim Uniform Washing Tax Rebate For Laundry

» Help For Heroes Discount Code

» Commemorative Cover BFPS 70th anniversary QARANC Association

Present Day

» Become An Army Nurse

» Junior Ranks

» Officer Ranks

» Abbreviations

» Nicknames

» Service Numbers

Ministry of Defence Hospital Units

» MDHU Derriford

» MDHU Frimley Park

» MDHU Northallerton

» MDHU Peterborough

» MDHU Portsmouth

» RCDM Birmingham

» Army Reserve QARANC


» Florence Nightingale Plaque

» Photographs


» Why QA's Wear Grey

» Beret

» Army Medical Services Tartan

» First Time Nurses Wore Trousers AV Anti Vermin Battledress

» TRF Tactical Recognition Flash Badge

» Greatcoat TFNS

» Lapel Pin Badge

» Army School of Psychiatric Nursing Silver Badge

» Cap Badge

» Corps Belt

» ID Bracelet

» Silver War Badge WWI

» Officer's Cloak

» QAIMNSR Tippet

» QAIMNS and Reserve Uniform World War One

» Officer Medal

» Hospital Blues Uniform WW1


» Armed Forces Day

» The Nurses General Dame Maud McCarthy Exhibition Oxford House London

» Edinburgh Fringe Stage Play I'll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero

» Match For Heroes

» Recreated WWI Ward

» Reunions

» Corps Day

» Freedom of Rushmoor

» Re-enactment Groups

» Military Events

» Remembrance

» AMS Carol Service

» QARANC Association Pilgrimage to Singapore and Malaysia 2009

» Doctors and Nurses at War

» War and Medicine Exhibition

» International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine DiMiMED

» QA Uniform Exhibition Nothe Fort Weymouth

Famous QA's

» Dame Margot Turner

» Dame Maud McCarthy

» Lt Col Maureen Gara

» Military Medal Awards To QAs

» Moment of Truth TV Documentary

» Sean Beech

» Staff Nurse Ella Kate Cooke


International Nurses Day

International Midwife Day


» Search

» Site Map

» Contact

» Other Websites

» Walter Mitty Military Imposters

» The Abandoned Soldier

We are seeking help with some answers to questions sent by readers. These can be found on the Army Nursing page.

» Find QA's

» Jokes

» Merchandise

» Mugs

» Personalised Poster

» Poppy Badges

» Stamp

» Teddy Bears

» Pin Badges

» Wall Plaques

» Fridge Magnet

© Site contents copyright 2006 - 2020 All rights reserved.
Privacy/Disclaimer Policy