By Barry Stone
The attention-grabbing tales of Australian and New Zealand infantrymen and the animals that experience observed them, from the Boer conflict via to the clash in Afghanistan. From the Boer battle to the clash in Vietnam, from the Somme to Afghanistan, from beasts of burden and bomb detectors to services of companionship and light-weight aid for the lads and girls in battle, animals have performed an essential function in Australian army campaigns. canines, cats, pigeons, camels and horses between others, all took half. the following Barry Stone files, via letters, journals, pictures and first-hand bills, the tales of the myriad creatures who went off to varied wars with Australian squaddies - including a poignant layer to our army historical past. Highlighting person tales, he follows not only their wartime adventures, yet now and again what occurred to animals after the wars had ended, who survived and the way.
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Additional resources for The Diggers' Menagerie: Mates, Mascots and Marvels - True Stories of Animals Who Went to War
He was once first referred to as ‘Horrie’, then later ‘Horrie the wog dog’, a time period that admittedly carried with it a sprinkling of derision yet which quickly turned a time period of love for the tiny pooch. Horrie used to be stumbled on wandering within the desolate tract south of the Egyptian port urban of Alexandria, early in 1941 via deepest Jim Moody of the 2/1 Machine-gun Battalion. inspite of the battalion’s ‘no pets’ coverage he used to be quick taken into their hearts and simply as fast promoted to the honorary rank of corporal and given the provider quantity EX1. He used to be on no account a shy puppy, and took to barking at strangers while put on sentry accountability, in addition to bounding alongside on the head of each parade, the place he’d sometimes carry his leg on a soldier’s boot! In early April 1941 Horrie discovered himself being crammed into inner most Moody’s package while the battalion used to be despatched to Greece as a part of the Allies’ try and flip again the German invasion. On 27 April, whereas being evacuated to the island of Crete on board the Dutch delivery Costa Rica, the send was once attacked via German dive bombers. Horrie used to be hit through shrapnel and approximately drowned whilst he fell over the facet and landed in among of the ship’s lifestyles rafts. Moody went after him amidst calls of, ‘The ship’s sinking, every person for himself! ’ thankfully the water used to be calm and Moody scooped up his waterlogged buddy and took him aboard one of many escort vessels, HMS Defender, the place he got rid of the piece of shrapnel utilizing his pocket knife whereas one of many Defender’s workforce held negative Horrie down. as soon as on Crete, Horrie was once given a brand new function as messenger. participants of the 2/1 Battalion be mindful him scampering over the island’s craggy, rock-infested terrain, relaying messages tied in a handkerchief to his collar. From Crete the battalion have been despatched to Palestine, the place Horrie met one other Egyptian terrier, a lady named Imshie, who used to be frequently visible licking Horrie’s nostril, quite in the course of one short spell of disease while all he’d settle for when it comes to nutrition on a daily basis was once a morsel of porridge. unfortunately, notwithstanding, it might be a truly brief friendship. quite a few weeks later, Horrie and his battalion have been published to Syria and he was once compelled to go away his female friend in the back of. within the freezing mountains and valleys of Syria, Horrie’s battalion made him his recognized jacket, its patchwork of varied cloths taken from an outdated khaki greatcoat. Horrie was once taken by way of Moody to a Tel Aviv veterinarian, the place the little battler obtained a fresh invoice of healthiness ahead of the battalion starting off for Suez to arrange for the lengthy trip domestic. Going domestic proved to be a apprehensive time for unit mascots. Strict Australian quarantine regulations observed Imshie killed on board her delivery after having been effectively smuggled aboard. different animals have been additionally stuck and unceremoniously handled, together with a cat named Hobo, thrown overboard through the ship’s captain while only a trip from docking in Fremantle. Taught to sit down nonetheless and be silent for lengthy sessions by means of his proprietor, Horrie was once smuggled again to Australia in 1942 hidden inside of a bag coated with wood slats and holes reduce for air flow.