Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Today we remember those who fought & died in the war - such a heavy loss to families up & down the country.

I'd also like to remember the animals who lost their lives in the First World War too, including over 8 million horses & mules - yes, 8 million!

As inscribed on the Animals in War memorial in Hyde Park, "They had no choice".

A Soldier's Kiss

by Henry Chappell

Only a dying horse! pull off the gear,

And slip the needless bit from frothing jaws,

Drag it aside there, leaving the road way clear,

The battery thunders on with scarce a pause.

Prone by the shell-swept highway there it lies

With quivering limbs, as fast the life-tide fails,

Dark films are closing o’er the faithful eyes

That mutely plead for aid where none avails.

Onward the battery rolls, but one there speeds

Needlessly of comrades voice or bursting shell,

Back to the wounded friend who lonely bleeds

Beside the stony highway where he fell.

Only a dying horse! he swiftly kneels,

Lifts the limp head and hears the shivering sigh

Kisses his friend, while down his cheek there steals

Sweet pity’s tear, "Goodbye old man, Goodbye".

No honours wait him, medal, badge or star,

Though scarce could war a kindlier deed unfold;

He bears within his breast, more precious far

Beyond the gift of kings, a heart of gold.


  1. I had no idea there was such a memorial.What a moving poem,it brought tears to my eyes.Yes it's very important we never forget those who died for our it the brave soldiers and airmen or the wonderful animals who lost their lives doing their duty.

  2. very touching tribute jayne, thanks for sharing and like you shocked 8 mil' horses lost their lives grandad was in the R.A.f...during ww2...died last year- i loved his emotional stories- wish id wrote them down now...he met my Nanny in a air raid shelter in the local cinema ;0) it was a black out and they shared a ever lasting kiss x
    So many have lost their lives this year too- such brave heroes! ;0)x

  3. That was lovely x
    My great-grandad was in charge of the horses in his regiment and was awarded a medal for his bravery with them.
    I didn't know there was a memorial for them.
    Thank you for sharing that hun
    x x x

  4. Your poem brought tears to my eyes too...thank you for sharing it. I will now remember the animals as well as the soldiers who lost their lives...
    Julie x

  5. Lovely poem...My Great, Great Uncle was in the Australian Army Veterinary Corps during the First War he died of his wounds in 1919. Jilly Cooper has also written a book about the bravery of animals during times of conflict 'Animals in War'. Very touching post Jayne.
    Jo xx

  6. Thank you for sharing this poem, Jayne.

  7. Lovely poem Jayne. I was thinking of the animals today as I stood in silence :(
    Good to see so many people posting today

  8. Like bellaboo I had no idea there was such a memorial. I've never read the poem before either. A very sad and informative post x

  9. HI ,what a moving and informative post,like Bella boo I had no idea about the memorial.My grand father was a blacksmith in the first world war,and as i read your post a story he told mepopped back into my memorie.. he told me of shoeing over 80 pack mules/donkeys and they were in some sort of corral and a bomb landed and killed most of them,In my animal loving mind and heart,i said ho grandad what did yoy do ? ,and he replyed ,went round and removed the shoes as metal was precious, not quite what i ment, but shows the horror and acceptance of war. the peom brought a huge lunp to my throat, Linda x

  10. A very touching post, God bless all those who fought for us, including the animals.