During war times the countless animals assisted troops… Essential for transport, logistics, communications and companionship, they are often forgotten.
Stamp News.com is glad to introduce to our readers’ attention this commemorative stamp issue the aim of which is to underline the heroism of our four-legged friends.
Mules and donkeys have been vital pack animals in most war situations. The best known are Simpson's donkeys, who carried first aid and wounded soldiers during the Gallipoli campaign in World War I.
Dogs have been used to carry messages and medical equipment. Their intelligence enables them to locate wounded men and to detect explosive devices. One of the most celebrated, Sarbi, vanished in Afghanistan in 2008, and was found 14 months later.
Sarbi received several honours, including the RSPCA Purple Cross Award, the War Dog Operational Medal and the Canine Service Medal. The purple poppy commemorates the role played by animals in world conflicts.
Thousands of horses sent from Australia died on the Western Front during World War I. They were used for troop and ammunition transport and hauling, equipment. Of the more than 136,000 Walers (Australian-bred New South Walers) sent, only one, Sandy, was lucky enough to return home.
Pigeons were used by the Allies during both World Wars, although the Australian Corps of Signals Pigeon Service was not established until World War II. They were useful when communication was difficult with messages enclosed within tubes attached to the pigeon's leg.
Thousands of camels served in the Imperial Camel Corps in the Middle East during World War I. The Corps was founded in 1916 to deal with a revolt in Egypt's Western Desert. Of the first four battalions formed, the first and third were entirely Australian, and the fourth was a mix of Australians and New Zealanders. Camels were obviously well suited to a desert environment, and could walk at 4.8 km an hour, while carrying a soldier, his equipment and supplies.