LEST WE FORGET.
11/11/19-18 > 11.11.2018
HIS MASTER’S VOICE.
A Tribute to WWI Military Dogs
His Master’s Voice has gone
Dogs do not understand goodbye
He watches waits and grieves
Why do the women cry?
A War Dog has a focus
Love dictates the choice
The wailing shells surround him.
His world, His Master’s Voice
He did not care to understand
Why humans kill or play
Be it German, French or English
His Master’s Voice his day
Evading deadly Allied Bullets
On German Voice command
A precious load strapped to his back
He skims the mire of No Man’s Land
Blueruns with army orders now
There are no sheep or cattle
Blueonly hears His Anzac’s Voice
Above the roar of battle
A Red Cross Dog saves lives
Aiding those who still draw breath
The Stretcher Bearer’s Voice
Braves the screaming stench of death
Flanders fields are still blood red
Killing is still glorified
Men and dogs are still at war
Will we ever turn the tide?
Both sides trained Military Dogs.
World War I dogs were used to carry messages, first aid kits and transmission wiring. Some dogs were army mascots.
Small dogs were also useful in the trenches to kill the hordes of rats that swarmed in the filth and squalor. Removing sick and dead men from the trenches was difficult. They were high, narrow and usually had stagnant water lying in them. Rats thrived.
The rule was Keep your Head DOWN!!! Sharp shooters on the other side of No Man’s Land were just waiting to put a bullet into any head that poked up.
No Man’s Land was the distance between enemy trenches. It was covered on barbed wire. After the troops had come out of the trenches to Charge the Enemy, No Man’s Land was the place of the dead, the injured and the dying.
The sound of shelling, machine gun and rifle fire began at daylight and did not finish until it was too dark to see.
At night the stretcher-bearers were busy taking the wounded to safety. Other soldiers were collecting Dog Tags or Identity Discs from the dead. These were used to change the records to Killed in Action and send a telegram and letter to the next of kin.
The Australian Armed Forces still train war dogs. If you love dogs you might like to find out more about them.
Horrie the War Dog by Roland Perry is an interesting yarn about a dog who worked with the Austrailan Army in Egypt.