24 February annually

Studio portrait probably of Staff Sergeant Major (SSM) Gabriel Albert Morgan, Instructional Staff, CMF, of Bendigo, Vic. Note he is wearing a militia uniform and is accompanied by a dog wearing a forage cap. (DA09725)

Studio portrait probably of Staff Sergeant Major (SSM) Gabriel Albert Morgan, Instructional Staff, CMF, of Bendigo, Vic. Note he is wearing a militia uniform and is accompanied by a dog wearing a forage cap. (DA09725)

24 February is the National Day for War Animals in Australia. On this day we recognize the important roles that animals have and continue to play in war.

To read more about animals at war: https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/exhibitions/animals

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Dogs have always accompanied Australians to war, as mascots, messengers, scouts, guards - and comforting companions in tough times. These days, dogs in the Australian Defence Force are highly trained and serve in specific and vital roles. In Episode 14 of Collected, Louise Maher learns about the long and varied history of military working dogs and visits a new memorial that honours their courage, skill and devotion.

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Commemorative product range

National Day for War Animals recognises the service and sacrifice of animals in war, and is observed annually on the 24th of February. To mark this day, the Memorial Shop presents a commemorative range of products and images from our collection – available for purchase now in store and online.

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Remembering animals in war activities 2020

Animals have played an important part in all conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved. Join us for public talks, family tours, and activities that explore the roles of animals during wartime.

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M is for Mates publication

Animals in Wartime from Ajax to Zep. For all creatures great and small, especially those who have served their country in war time.

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Cats of war

The military have a long tradition of taking cats to war – in an official capacity (as mascots and rodent catchers), for morale, and for luck. In common with our sailors, soldiers and airmen, many a cute kitty has had its portrait taken. Here is a selection of photographs from the Memorial’s collection, showing cats at war.

The mascot of a cookhouse at the 9th Australian division, a puppy dog, being dried after his bath, in preparation for the visit of general Douglas Macarthur, Commander in Chief, Allied Land Forces, South West Pacific Area. (053601)

Animals and war

Animals are put to many uses in war. Sometimes they have jobs to do: the horses and donkeys used to transport soldiers and equipment, as well as tracker dogs with their special talents. Often animals are used as mascots and pets. This set of images shows some of the animals that have served with Australians in wartime.

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Buy purple poppy products

Purchase purple poppy products from our shop to commemorate the deeds and sacrifices of all animals in war.