Dataset

Guide to the Animals Souvenir Collection. Collection number: Souvenirs 12

Museum Metadata Exchange
Australian War Memorial (Managed by)
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Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Brief description

Contains souvenirs relating to the role of animals in Australia's military history, particularly as unit mascots.

Full description

SERIES 1: First World War, 1914-1918. Description: The series contains souvenirs relating to animals during the First World War.; SERIES 2: Second World War, 1939-1945. Description: The series contains souvenirs relating to animals during the Second World War.

Notes

Selected additional and related material available at http://www.awm.gov.au/search/collections/ using the search terms described under 'subject _local'. Copies of many items from the Memorial's collections may also be purchased @ http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/sales/.

Significance

Animals have played varying and significant roles in Australia's military history, from assisting in battle to providing company and building comradeship within a unit as a mascot. Horses have been used extensively during war as a means of transport, and are especially useful as they are able to traverse deep mud, ditches and river beds that vehicles cannot cross. They have served with patrols, pulled wagons, ambulances and water carts, hauled ammunition and, of course, were the basis of the cavalry. Horses were joined in many of these duties by mules, oxen, camels and donkeys, the most notable example being Simpson and his donkey at Gallipoli. Other animals, however, have also served during wartime in less well known roles. Dogs were used as messengers and in sentry duties while pigeons were used as war messengers, with the Australian forces even establishing an Australian Corps of Signals Pigeon Service in 1942. Animals have also featured in our military history as mascots and companions for our forces. Many Australian units in the First and Second World Wars adopted an animal as a mascot. A popular mascot was the dog, but some units took kangaroos to Egypt and units adopted other animals such as monkeys, birds, goats and cats.

Data time period: 1914

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