9 November 2018

Animals in war remembrance centenary event

Brooke attended the Animals in War Remembrance Gathering Centenary Event in London, marking Every Horse Remembered 

Nigel Wilson and Alice Oppenheimer

Nigel Wilson and Alice Oppenheimer with messages of remembrance from Brooke supporters

Three horses, a mule, a donkey and countless dogs turned up to the Animals in War memorial on Park Lane next to Hyde Park in London today, marking the centenary of the end of WW1. Brooke was one of a number of charities to attend to pay respect to animals that gave service and sacrifice in the conflict.

Representatives from 24 charities attended, with wreaths and poppies adorning themselves and some four legged friends. The British Mule Society, who took part in Brooke's MyHackathon this year, brought a mule and a donkey to the event. The Household Cavalry also brought three horses, one named 'Philip' after the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Alice Oppenheimer, dressage rider and ambassador for Brooke’s Every Horse Remembered campaign attended the event with Nigel Wilson, Brooke’s Director of Programmes. The service began with a minute’s silence, and then readings from a number of speakers. Alice Oppenheimer read 'Grandad's Horse: Albert', a poem written by Janet Hamblin, a Brooke supporter who entered and won our Every Horse Remembered poetry competition earlier this year. Alice also reflected on the fact that Brooke's Every Horse Remembered campaign had been launched one year ago at the same event, by Chief Executive Petra Ingram and Deborah Meaden.

Each charity then laid wreaths that will stay in place at the memorial for Remembrance week and beyond. Brooke also took some messages of remembrance, sent in by supporters through our Facebook page.

The event, organised and funded by Petplan Charitable Trust and Dogs Trust, has taken place annually since 2004 when the memorial was unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal. The Petplan Charitable Trust also provides ongoing support to Brooke's projects.

Brooke launched Every Horse Remembered in 2017 to mark 100 years since the end of WW1, and is bringing it to a close in November 2018 with Every Horse Remembered Month. The campaign highlights the struggle of working horses, donkeys and mules of the past and present, and will build better lives for future generations of animals, and their owners.

“As an Every Horse Remembered ambassador, I’m pleased to be representing Brooke at the Animals in War Memorial. It’s so important that we honour the bravery of the millions of horses who served alongside our soldiers in World War I.”

Alice Oppenheimer

Brooke is encouraging supporters to mark the WW1 centenary with moments of remembrance this November. If you have a dog or horse, why not add a remembrance poppy to your bridle or dog collar for a walk or hack? You could also hold your own remembrance moment in a place of your choice, or even lay wreath at your local cenotaph if you have permission from the local authority. For more ways to honour and help working horses, donkeys and mules, visit the Every Horse Remembered Month page. Here you can also watch a replay of the Animals in War event.

Eight million horses, donkeys and mules died in WW1, not only from fierce shellfire and gas attacks but also from the extreme conditions they had to endure. From the freezing mud on the Western Front to the overbearing heat of Egypt, the environments they worked in took many lives. It’s a devastating truth that horses, donkeys and mules still have to endure conditions like these every day. From the searing heat of brick kilns, to icy and treacherous mountains and rivers, these animals are working, supporting the lives of small communities.