Have you noticed people wearing purple poppies on February 24th or purple poppies beside their traditional red ones on Remembrance Day?
Purple poppies commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of animals during wartime, and funds raised by sales of the pins helps The Australian War Animal memorial Organisation (AWAMO) establish memorials, train PTSD support dogs and care for retired animals that have served their country.
Thousands of horses, dogs and pigeons have accompanied Australian servicemen and women into battle while animal mascots including wallabies, cockatoos, cats and dogs have brought comfort to troops far from home.
Books honouring these animals include Anthony Hill’s Animal Heroes and Maria Gill ‘s ANZAC Animals, exploring the backstory of Australian and New Zealand war animals. Mark Wilson has created several picture books about war animals, including pigeon story, Flapper, VC. My book Light Horse Boy and Greenwood/Lessac’s Midnight, both follow WWI horses into battle. Meanwhile, Torty and the Soldier by Jennifer Beck and Fifi Colston celebrates a tortoise that went to war. A few other titles for teens and adults includes Horrie the War Dog , Bill the Bastard and Prince of Afghanistan. These are just a few titles, there are many more.
Lets not forget these brave heroes.