Blue Cross Awards – Remembering the Animals of WW1

It wasn’t just men and boys who answered Britain’s call to join the armed forces in her hour of need.

Hundreds of thousands of animals left behind their peaceful, rural homes and made the journey across the English Channel to join their human comrades in the trenches.

Two years before the outbreak of what would become known as the First World War, the Blue Cross Fund had provided vital veterinary care to animals during the Balkan War. At that time, our charity was called Our Dumb Friends League (ODFL) and we named the fund after the flags displaying blue crosses that flew above animal hospitals and ambulances to distinguish help for animal casualties from The Red Cross, which provided aid to wounded soldiers.

In 1914, we knew our help would be needed once more.

Horses were an essential part of cavalry warfare and soon became needed to haul colossal artillery pieces, ammunition’s wagons, machine guns, ration carts and other vital supplies.

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