A is for Animals: an A to Z of animals in war
16 June 2011 - 18 September 2011
A is for Animals: an A to Z of animals in war is the Australian War Memorial’s first special exhibition developed especially for children and their families.
A is for Animals offers an A to Z of animals in war, from mascots and messengers to creepy-crawlies. Animals are put to many uses in war and have worked alongside Australians in war for over one hundred years.
Sometimes they have jobs to do: the horses, camels, mules, and donkeys used to transport soldiers and equipment, as well as carrier pigeons and tracker dog with their special talents. Often animals are used as mascots or as symbols on badges and flags. Just as varied are the pets that give soldiers affection, hope and relief from the stress of war
A is for Animals: an A to Z of animals in war also looks at those unwelcome animals, such as insects, rats, and wild creatures, that make life in the field even more difficult and dangerous.
Things to see and do
- Follow the stories and themes in the exhibition from A is for Animals to Z is for Zoo.
- Explore and discover the role animals played and their symbolic use.
- Discover the stories of Murphy the donkey, Tiber the tracker dog and more.
- View up close objects and images that tell stories about our past and the lives of Australians during war time.
- Follow the children’s trails to solve the puzzles in Working Animals and Animal Stories.
- Find out ‘What animal is that?’ using sound and images.
Visit the Australian War Memorial website to discover more about A is for Animals: an A to Z of animals in war, view video footage of the Australian Light Horse, listen to audio and view images from the exhibition.
Messenger Pigeons - A story from B is for Bird
Pigeons were used in great numbers during the First World War. They were very effective in carrying messages back from the frontline and were not badly affected by gas or noise. Pigeons were carried in baskets to the frontline trenches during the First World War. Messages were written in duplicate, so that two pigeons could be released with the same note. This helped to make sure the message got through. The small metal cylinder attached to the pigeons’ leg carried the message. Two Australian pigeons were awarded the Dickin medal – a bravery award for animals in war.
A is for Animals: an A to Z of animals in war is complemented with learning resources for students and teachers.
An unidentified soldier on his donkey in Palestine.
A is for Animals: an A to Z of animals in war is an Australian War Memorial travelling exhibition.
This exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government Program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.