‘The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’ – Mahatma Gandhi
Animals have the power to change people’s lives. They can be loving, loyal companions that will never judge. In World War I, many Australian and New Zealand units – army, naval and air squadrons – had animal mascots. This thoroughly researched book containing a treasure trove of archival photographs shows that all types of animals served as mascots – a virtual Noah`s Ark of animals ranging from dogs and cats, rats and insects to bears and primates, birds and donkeys.
Anzac Mascots explores animal mascots, both official and unofficial, that served in World War I, and aims to illustrate their purpose, how they were selected, what happened to them after the war and, finally, the far-reaching effects their prolific use had after the war.
This book reveals that people alone did not win World War I; animals played a vital part. Animals, through their unwavering devotion and boundless affection, kept soldiers’ spirits high, provided a temporary link to normality and peace, and reminded what they were fighting for – home and country.