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Animals in the Great War (Hardback)

WWI 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 Military

By Stephen Wynn, Tanya Wynn
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781473838048
Published: 31st May 2019

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Animals in the Great War looks at the use of animals by all sides in the Great War and to what effect. In the main, it focuses greatly on horses, dogs and pigeons but also addresses the war efforts of other animals.

In the early years of the war horses were, to a large extent, the only form of transport that was available to the British Army, ranging from use by cavalry units, artillery units as well others such as the Army Ordnance Corps for the conveying of ammunition supplies to men fighting at the front. Britain sent an estimated one million horses to fight in the war, most of them to France and Belgium, but only 60,000 of them ever returned home, and only then were they returned because of the intervention of Winston Churchill.

Dogs also played a major role in the war, especially in the trenches on the Western Front. They were used as mascots by the different regiments and in some cases, they were companions for homesick soldiers. They were also used for sentry duties in the trenches as well as catching rats, and they were used as messengers and to sniff out wounded soldiers in No Man's Land.

Besides their immediate handlers who looked after their everyday needs, there was the Royal Army Veterinary Corps to tend to their wounds after they had been injured in the execution of their duties.

Animals in the Great War explores how everyday domestic animals were transformed into remarkable wartime heroes, who more than did their bit for the war effort.

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About Stephen Wynn

Stephen Wynn is a retired Police officer who served with Essex Police for thirty years. His first book, Two Sons in a War Zone: Afghanistan: The True Story of a Fathers Conflict, was published in 2010. It is his personal account of his sons’ first tours in Afghanistan. Both of his grandparents served in and survived the First World War.


Animals in the Great War is written by Stephen and his wife, Tanya. This is the third book they have written together, having previously collaborated on Women in the Great War and A History of the Royal Hospital Chelsea 1682-2017. Stephen has written numerous titles in the military history genre over the years. His first book, Two Sons in a Warzone, was published in 2010. It is the true story of his sons first tours in Afghanistan. One of them was injured and the other was shot and wounded.


About Tanya Wynn

Stephen and Tanya Wynn are a husband and wife team. They have been married for twelve years and outside of writing enjoy the simplicities of life. They spend most mornings walking their four German Shepherd dogs at a time when most normal people are still sound asleep.


Animals in the Great War is the third book Stephen and Tanya Wynn have written together, having previously collaborated on Women in the Great War and A History of the Royal Hospital Chelsea 1682-2017. Stephen has written numerous titles in the military history genre over the years. His first book, Two Sons in a Warzone, was published in 2010. It is the true story of his sons first tours in Afghanistan. One of them was injured and the other was shot and wounded.

Perfect Partner

Animals in the Great War (Paperback)

Animals in the Great War throws a spot light on the experience of creatures great and small during the First World War, vividly telling their stories through the incredible archival images of the Mary Evans Picture Library. The enduring public interest in Michael Morpurgos tale of the war horse reveals an enthusiasm for the animal perspective on war, but what of the untold stories of the war dog, the trench rat or even the ships pig? Through unrivalled access to rarely seen illustrated wartime magazines, books and postcards, discover the sea lions who were trained to detect submarines, and witness…

By Lucinda Moore

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