The Diggers' Menagerie: Mates, Mascots and Marvels - True Stories of Animals Who Went to War
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The fascinating stories of Australian and New Zealand soldiers and the animals that have accompanied them, from the Boer War through to the conflict in Afghanistan. From the Boer War to the conflict in Vietnam, from the Somme to Afghanistan, from beasts of burden and bomb detectors to providers of companionship and light relief for the men and women in war, animals have played a vital role in Australian military campaigns. Dogs, cats, pigeons, camels and horses among others, all took part. Here Barry Stone documents, through letters, journals, photographs and first-hand accounts, the stories of the myriad creatures who went off to various wars with Australian soldiers - adding a poignant layer to our military history. Highlighting individual stories, he follows not just their wartime adventures, but in some cases what happened to animals after the wars had ended, who survived and how.
with 461 horses, boarded the troopship Star of Victoria at Sydney’s Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, one of the 74 troopships the Australian government would requisition throughout the course of the war. The interiors of vessels were being transformed at an astonishing rate from cargo and general transport ships into ships capable of transporting troops and horses. In just 53 hours the cargo ship Palermo was refitted to carry 360 horses, though half of these were to perish en route. The Argyllshire
by the Boer Republic on 11 October. The pioneering settlers in the United States conquered the West under the banner of the doctrine of ‘Manifest Destiny’, the belief that God had given them the task of settling the ‘New World’ regardless of the presence of the land’s traditional owners. The Boer, too, believed their land had been bequeathed to them by God and their stewardship of it reflected as much: they were beyond the threats and pronouncements of the British government. They had been there
had scattered. Shells continued to rain down as Ernie took Billy then another injured soldier down into the relative safety of a bomb crater. Promising to return, Ernie then began transferring supplies from the dead mules to the living and set off towards the lines, just 250 metres away. He made it, but his work wasn’t done. He returned to the crater with his sergeant, who had also continued on his way to the front lines, and together they dragged a length of duckboard from the squelching mud,
16/4/2011 Picture Section The cavalry: Men from the 2nd South Australian (Mounted Rifles) Contingent who fought in the Second Boer War. Third from left is Trooper Harry ‘The Breaker’ Morant. South Africa, c. 1900. AWM 123579 Before war was mechanised: A small horse-drawn ambulance cart designed by Surgeon Colonel W.D.C. Williams – an outcome of experience gained during the Boer War. AWM H13982 Animals, the forgotten casualties of war. An Australian feeding an exhausted mule on the road at
and his Explosives Detection Dog cross a river during a clearance patrol of the Mirabad Valley, Afghanistan. Image supplied courtesy of Department of Defence, PO Damian Pawlenko Sarbi the wonder dog, who went missing in action in Afghanistan for 14 months, was awarded the Purple Cross for her bravery. Steve Burton AWM PAIU2011_025.05 Image supplied courtesy of Department of Defence, LT Aaron Oldaker Sarbi with author Barry Stone. Explosives Detection Dog Omeka is taken through her paces