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Photographs supplied by Nigel Allsopp, President of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation

The memorial commemorates all animals who have served our nation in times of war and peace and recognises the sacrifices and deeds that animals have undertaken in battlefields around the world. 

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.

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.

A new memorial to Australian war animals was unveiled at this year’s Narooma Anzac Day ceremony with 100-year-old George Findley was given the honour of doing the official unveiling by the Narooma RSL.

Narooma RSL sub-branch president Paul Naylor said the memorial came about after the sub-branch began communicating with Nigel Allsopp, who advocates for Australia’s war animals.

Mr Naylor in his Anzac Day speech said more than 8 million animals perished or wounded on both sides of the conflict on World War I alone, with millions more killed in World War II. This included horses, mules, dogs and pigeons. In more recent times Coalition forces in Iraq used pigeons to as chemical warfare detectors.

“Perhaps next Memorial Day when we think of all our soldiers who gave their lives in war, please pause a thought for the four-legged heroes that fought and died alongside them,” Mr Naylor said. “Hopefully one day we can stop can not only stop sending our sons and daughters to war but our pets too.”

The Narooma RSL has decided to donate all profits from next year’s Red Poppy Ball to the Canine Carers group, which looks after dogs returning from Australia’s campaigns overseas, as they allegedly receive no assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs, he said.

Mr Findley, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday at the IRT retirement village, was swamped with well wishes and people wanting a photo with him after the service.

“It certainly was an honour to do this and very unexpected actually,” he said.

Members of the Eurobodalla branch also laid wreaths and paid tribute to the fallen animals at the new memorial, which is located at the base of the fountain at the RSL memorial garden. The lights will also be turned from red to purple in honour of the animals.
Narooma News, 28 April 2017


Address:88 Princes Highway, Club Narooma, Narooma, 2546
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.217218
Long: 150.129852
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 25th April, 2017
Front Inscription

Dedicated to all war animals 

They also served

Lest We Forget

Source: AWA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au