Hundreds of thousands of horses, mules, pigeon, dogs and other animals were lost in two world wars.  They played a great part in the war effort by carrying ammunition, communications and detecting mines.  Even cats were valued by our servicemen and performed appreciated roles as rat catchers in the trenches, but also offering a therapeutic presence and a sense of security and calm to those in the trenches and at sea.

In total, over two and a half million animals passed through RSPCA animal hospitals between 1914 and 1918, with two million of these being made healthy and made available for further service.

During the Second World War RSPCA Inspectors risked their lives carrying out animal rescues on British soil.  Entire streets would be evacuated due to bombing with stricken owners having to leave their animals and pets behind.  Inspectors bravely entered the cordoned zones and at least 100,000 animals were saved in this way.  Between 1939 and 1945, the RSPCA rescued more than 256,000 animals and treated more than a million. By 1944 the RSPCA had established 734 animal rescue centres to deal with the casualties and sick animals.

Although the use of horses is limited to mainly ceremonial duties in today's forces, other animals such as highly trained dogs are still vital to the efforts of the British services today.

Purple poppies are a symbol of remembrance for all the animals that have served during wartime.

Please help us remember those fallen in the First World War and every war or conflict there-after by wearing your poppies with pride.

Lest We Forget.