Plaque is dedicated to all animals who have served our nation in times of war and peace. The plaque recognises the sacrifices and deeds that animals have undertaken in battlefields around the world. Senior Constable Nigel Allsopp, a current-serving police-dog handler and President of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation, was a driving force behind the war-animal memorial dedication.
Animals have played a very significant role in assisting our defence forces over the years and the memorial plaque is to show support for the many dogs, horses, mules, donkeys, camels and pigeons who have bravely served Australia. The recognition of animals in war is not new as three pigeons had been awarded the Dickin Medal – the equivalent of a Victoria Cross – in World War One and a British mine detection dog in Afghanistan has also received the same award.
At the unveiling ceremony on the 23rd June 2013 there was a representation of war animals. Due to there being no Light Horse re-enactors in far north Qld ,thanks to some funds from Innisfail's RSL President Alan Scott and the loan of a local horse from Julie and Sam Corica, the memorial unveiling was able to go ahead with a Light Horse representation. Other equines present were a Donkey re-enactor team and a large Clydesdale horse. Military dogs were represented by Both RAAF Military working dog teams and a pair of Explosive Detection Dogs from 3 Combat Engineer Regiment. Both units had driven up from Townsville. The Qld Police Service and Federal Police sent a dog team each from Cairns and the day ended with the release of 120 pigeons over the 200 odd crowd that gather for the day.
The ceremony itself consisted of a speech by Nigel Allsopp stating the role of animals in war and why we were gathered there to honour their deeds and sacrifices. The President of the RSL read out a letter of support for the day from the Prime Minister Julie Gillard which was well received and her support for war animals acknowledged by a round of applause. Local Poet Santina Lizzio read out a war dog poem and tribute to donkeys which had many of the crowd holding back tears. The RSL`s Padre blessed the plaque followed by the Innisfail Deputy Mayor unveiling it. This was followed by serving and association members of the ADF and Police laying wreaths.
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|Address:||18-28 Fitzgerald Parade , Innisfail RSL , Innisfail , 4860|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -17.522969|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 23rd June, 2013|Front InscriptionSource:
DEDICATED TO ALL
LEST WE FORGET