Sadly, the Remembrance Gathering for the animals has not happened again this year. Five of us will be at the War Memorial at 11 o’clock on Thursday 11th simply to lay the wreaths and Derek Jacobi and Richard Clifford will read the following 2 pieces:
Richard will say . . .
We are here at this beautiful memorial to remember with love and gratitude the thousands of animals that served, suffered and died with the British Forces in areas of conflict and war in many parts of the world.
These were human conflicts and we recognise with shame and sadness that the animals ‘had no choice’. Their fortitude and courage never failed but we know that their agony and trauma was often hideous and unacceptable.
Our dear friends, rest now in peace and know that your sacrifice will never be forgotten, like the men with whom you served, you will remain our heroes and inspiration until the end of time.
A Salute to the Micks – Derek
For some of us, the dogs serving with the soldiers are the most touching, we know how much they love to be part of their families and the ancient bond between ‘man and dog’ must be terrifyingly confusing in the setting of war.
Colonel Richardson, who set up the dog training scheme, adored the Irish Terriers.
He praised their pluck and hardiness, their unfailing high spirits and fearless dedication to the job in hand. He once wrote that he believed they had some curious understanding of their importance in the field and enjoyed learning new skills and loved the challenges. He did say they could do any ‘job’ he gave them – sentry patrol, search parties, guard dogs, unbeatable ratters and marvellous companions to the men. The one job which they found difficult was running messages because they were far too likely to spot a friend – old, new or imagined and dash off for a quick rendezvous.
Like the rest of us, he loved their enthusiasm and sense of fun and their heart breaking courage even unto death.
Our beloved Micks, we will pass on your story from one generation to the next and we vow that you will never be forgotten.
With love and pride we salute you and may your generous hearts and loving spirits continue to light up our lives.
Please remember to say our prayer for the animals on Remembrance Sunday.
For the war they fought
For a task unsought
For the joy they wrought
And the love they brought
We will remember them
The girls and I will be in Lymington and we have been invited to join the parade. I am fearful our marching in a straight line may not come up to scratch, so I’m still debating this one.
With kindest regards and love to the dogs