Skip to main content

Due to essential maintenance our online forms and Public Access (planning, building control and licensing online) service will be unavailable Saturday 22 June 2019 between approximately 9am and 1pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Animals at war - They had no choice

WW1Animals1

Horse, farm dog and Land Girls delivering milk around Downend. (Frenchay Village Museum)

Animals played an enormous part in the First World War both at home and abroad.

Local animals were requisitioned by the army and sent off into battle despite the protests of their owners. Horses and mules were trained for battle and transport and dogs as rat catchers and messengers.

Pigeons and canaries were used as couriers or poison gas detectors.

Those working animals left behind; plough horses, sheep dogs and cart horses, continued to do their usual, valuable service. Animals played a big part in keeping up moral. They brought much needed comfort and support to many through the hardships of war.

WW1Animals2

Many fine horses were requisitioned for the front. These were horses returning by train after exercising. (Thornbury & District Museum)

Is there anything wrong with this page?