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‘Recognise the vital role animals played in war’ says Islwyn MP

Islwyn MP, Chris Evans, has called for animals who fought side-by-side with soldiers during both World Wars to be recognised.

Speaking after his election as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Pigeon Racing, Mr Evans said: ‘Animals such as pigeons played a vital role in carrying messages during wartime. Their efforts alongside countless other animals such as horses and dogs saved the lives of so many soldiers.

As we mark the centenary of the end of the Great War next year, it would be fantastic if the APPG could organise an event to recognise the efforts made by animals during the war.’

Racing Homer pigeons were used to carry messages due to their homing ability and impressive speed. As a result, 32 pigeons were awarded the Dickin Medal for animals to honour their service and bravery.

One such pigeon, a Blue Check hen named Cher Ami, was even awarded the French ‘Croix de Guerre with Palm’ after a heroic mission she embarked on saved the lives of 194 US soldiers. In October 1918, she delivered a crucial message despite having been shot through her eye, breast and leg. As a result the battalion of soldiers were rescued from the midst of friendly fire.