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Catalogue code: AV040
This Commemorative Sheet looks at the animals used for essential First World War roles in transportation, communications, surveillance and gas detection, as well as in the boosting of morale. Ten Union Flag stamps with ten labels highlighting these roles make up this informative souvenir.
Since ancient times, animals have proved themselves indispensable to the human race in times of war. In particular, horses – clad in armour bearing kings and emperors, military leaders and soldiers – have become the embodiment and symbol of warfare, able to adapt to changing conditions and be trained to outmanoeuvre new weapons and combat techniques. Similarly, many other animals, such as dogs, mules, donkeys, carrier pigeons, camels, elephants, goats and birds, have played an essential role in transportation, communications, surveillance and gas detection, as well as in the boosting of morale. And never was this more true than during the First World War.
except where indicated, all images are © Imperial War Museums; stamp sheet – carrier pigeon (detail of Q 8874), messenger dog (detail of Q 10960), camels (detail of Q 54973), Billy the dog (detail of Q 2521), fox-cub mascot (detail of Q 12039), British cavalry – Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images, cat mascot (detail of Q 8463), horses wearing gas masks (detail of Q 8793), Jim the Airedale terrier (detail of Q 24145), mule at Pilckem Ridge (detail of Q 5940), main image of Royal Engineers soldier and messenger dog (detail of Q 9276); backing card – packhorse at Pilckem Ridge (detail of Q 5717), Sammy the dog (detail of Q 1451), carrier pigeon (detail of CO 1414), Warrior and General Jack Seely © National Trust Images, ʻSergeantʼ Stubby © Photo Researchers/Mary Evans, Cher Ami © The Royal Pigeon Racing Association, Animals in War Memorial © Mike Booth/Alamy