First War Animal Memorial for a school in Australia

Plaque commemorates all animals who were lost in war. The school is the first school in Australia to have a War Memorial Plaque dedicated solely to animals lost in war. Students from the school asked their principal how they could honour war heroes as a large percentage of students are dependents of soldiers from the near by Enoggera military camp. Brigadier Greg Bilton  CSC, ADC 7th Brigade-Enoggera,  unveiled the plaque situated in the school grounds.
The President of Australia War Animal Memorials ,Nigel Allsopp, arranged the plaque and animals for the day whilst the school staff arranged the event.  Animals attending included a heavy horse, 3x Light horsemen, 2 x Donkeys, 3x RAAF military working dogs and 3x Explosive detection dogs from the army engineers- 2 CER.

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 Dickens medal – the equivalent of a Victoria Cross – in World War I and a British mine detection dog in Afghanistan has also received the same award.

Australian War Animal Memorials

AWAMO22Honouring the service of animals in war…

The Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO) raises awareness of the bravery shown by animals in military by erecting memorials.

Throughout history, in war and in peacetime, animals and people have worked alongside each other. As beasts of burden, messengers, protectors, mascots, and friends, the war animals have demonstrated true valour and an enduring partnership with humans. The bond is unbreakable, their sacrifice great – we honour the animals of war.

The initial aim of the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation is to promote the establishment of War Animal plaques at Parks, RSLs or local and Federal government sites.

The main aim is to establish a permanent War Animal Monument for all Queenslanders to view in Brisbane city. This will act as a focal point for all Queenslanders to honour the contributions animals have made to our Nation.

It is a volunteer none-profit organization made up of community members from diverse backgrounds that have the like-minded aim to recognize the deeds of animals during Australian military service and to educate generations to follow of the sacrifices of four legged diggers have made.

Military service is defined by the AWAMO as peace or war operations or employment. War Animals are defined by the AWAMO as any animal breed used by the ADF or used in ADF service.

War Animals

Throughout history, in war and in peacetime, animals and mankind have worked alongside each other. As beasts of burden, messengers, protectors, mascots, and friends, these war animals have demonstrated true valour and an enduring partnership with humans. The bond is unbreakable, their sacrifice great – we should honour the animals of war.

It is estimated that approximately 400,00 horses have left Australian shores to war only one was ever returned. Even one of our most famous animal icons Simpsons Donkey was never brought home. Thousands of other donkeys and Mules have served the colours none ever came home. During more recent wars all 11 dogs in Vietnam were left on our enemies shores as we withdrew. The very first Australian war animals to be returned was as late as 1993 from Somalia, today Military dogs are serving in the front lines of Afghanistan saving diggers lives by detecting road side bombs whilst equines are carrying supplies in mountainous terrain for our troops.

Currently within the ADF the use of animals in fact is on the increase as opposed to decline. This is primarily due to Military Working Dogs (MWD) and Specialist Explosive search dogs being used to combat Terrorist activities in both Homeland Defence and offensive operations. These units include the Engineers, Military Police and RAAF MWD teams. There are also several official Regimental Mascots within the ADF.

War animals being honoured include all past and present conflicts and operational roles such as:

  • Military Working Dogs
  • ADF Mascots
  • Equines
  • Pigeons
  • Camels
  • Marine Mammals
  • Other native and exotic animal used in aid or comfort of defence personnel

Help us grow our war animals memorial fund

AWAMO is growing a war animals memorial fund to establish a national Australian memorial.  There are many ways you can assist us.

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  • Purchase one of our books
  • Buy our purple poppies when you see them around
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