Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Remembering the Mules of WW1

Picture from http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205298236
British troops taking up supplies on a mule drawn light railway. Balkan Front, January, 1917.

2014 is the Centennial year of the First World War. You only have to look in any parish church to see that the casualties of this war were immense and widespread - in nearly every village there is a list of those that fought and died in the conflict. In every town the toll was equally high and changed the shape of our industry and transport systems. There were changes to our society that can be followed back to the effects of this war. It is difficult to imagine and overestimate the effects this conflict. Not listed on the memorials were the animal casualties which were at least as high and widespread.

Mules have a special place in war even today - they are highly valued for their resilience, and the same self determined calm and sometimes obstinate nature that means an almost endless ability to stick to whatever task they have taken on.

People trusted mules with their lives.

Harder to document is the effect of a mules natural ability to warm the hearts of whoever the mules trusted. They naturally form a bond with their handler, and in times of tragedy, conflict and dismay their winning natures still managed to shine through in the darkest of times.
Please go over to http://www.warmule.org and take a look at the stories and pictures of their sacrifice.

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