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Last Updated: Wednesday November 24 2004 18:59 GMT

Animal war hero memorial unveiled

An Alsatian dog sniffs around the new animal memorial
An memorial dedicated to animals who served during the war has been opened.

The monument is dedicated to the brave animal heroes who helped Britain, including horses, dogs, dolphins, pigeons, elephants and even glow worms.

It shows two mules, a horse and a dog, alongside lists of the number of animals killed in conflict.

Animals at War Memorial was opened by Princess Anne on Park Lane in London. A flock of pigeons was released as part of the unveiling ceremony on Wednesday.

Special tribute

The monument gives a special mention to the 60 animals awarded the animals' equivalent of the Victoria Cross, called the PDSA Dickin Medal.

Buster the dog is a hero
Buster the dog
They include Rob, a WW2 para-dog who made more than 20 parachute drops while serving with the SAS, and a pigeon called Mary, who managed to struggled back from a mission after being savaged by hawks.

Buster, the six-year-old Springer spaniel who discovered a stash of explosives in Iraq in 2003, is also mentioned.

Bond

PDSA director general Marilyn Rydstrom described the memorial as "the nation's long-awaited and very welcome tribute" to the animals.

"It will also stand as a testament to the extraordinary bond that animals share with mankind in times of extreme adversity."



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