Blog: Animals in war
This year an excellent set of 12 photographs of Xena, an Explosive Detection Dog (EDD), was donated to the Memorial. Following an inauspicious start to life in the military, Xena proved her true worth serving in Afghanistan. A Malinois (Belgian Shepherd), Xena was the runt of the litter in an RAAF breeding program. Deemed too timid to have a future as an attack dog, her future was uncertain. She was allocated to a trainer, however her high energy levels created havoc and her next transfer was to the pound.
This week the Research Centre received a call from a fan of Sandy, Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges' favourite charger. November this year sees the 90th anniversary of Sandy's return to Australia, after a tour of duty which included the coast of Gallipoli, Egypt and France. Sandy's fan wished to confirm the information the Research Centre has about this much-loved animal in preparation for a ceremony to mark the anniversary.
An exhibition on animals in war will open at the Memorial in February 2009. A is for Animals will explore a range of themes relating to animals during times of war. The exhibition will explore stories of the Light Horse; the donkeys, camels, horses and other creatures used to transport soldiers and equipment; the pigeons used to carry messages; the dogs who have located injured soldiers and tracked the enemy, and the many and varied animals adopted as mascots and pets.