Norman’s Christmas Message 2014

Norman By The Tree

A Very Merry Christmas One and All from Yours Truly
Photograph: Ed @ Moggyblog

Dear Reader,

In this First World War Centenary year I would like to draw attention to the animals that served alongside the brave men and women who gave us all our freedom today.

I have it on good authority that a 16 million-strong army of animals including mules, donkeys, cats and even camels was deployed in our battle of the 1914 to 1918 conflict – with the lives of nine million of these fellow creatures tragically cut short. Here is my humble nod to these brave comrades! I salute you all!

Wishing you all A Moggy Christmas and a Peaceful and Happy New Year 2015!

Love and Purrs,

Norman. x

Cat in the warm gun barrel

Ship’s cat tucked into one of the big guns
aboard the H.M.S. Encounter 1916.

Cher Ami – The famous pigeon who saved 200 lives was awarded
the Croix de Guerre medal

Probably the most famous of all the carrier/homing pigeons that were employed in both WW I and WW II (as vital communication links) was the one named ‘Cher Ami’, two French words meaning “Dear Friend”. Cher Ami spent several months on the front lines during the Fall of 1918. He flew 12 important missions to deliver messages. Perhaps the most important was the message he carried on October 4, 1918 when he survived shrapnel injuries to deliver a message that saved members of the “Lost Battalion”…. Read the full story at the Home of Heroes (

Horse and Rider – taking a break.
The horses had to endure the same hardships as the soldiers
throughout the conflict!

Sgt. Stubby the dog

Sgt. Stubby was nearly killed by nerve gas in 1914

The now famous pitbull Seargent Stubby took part in seventeen battles and was nearly killed by nerve gas. He also captured a german spy. He is said to be the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be nominated for rank and then promoted to sergeant through combat.

Another famous WW1 message carrying dog was ‘Rags’, a mixed breed terrier who was born in Paris. During his service he was bombed and gassed like the soldiers around him. He went on to save the life of many of his fellow soldiers.

There are at least two war memorials to these brave animals. This one is in Hyde Park London

War Memorial

‘Animals in War’ Memorial in Hyde Park, London

This monument is a powerful and moving tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century. The memorial was unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal in November 2004, the 90th anniversary of the start of World War I.