London’s full of war memorials, but this one goes beyond honoring the men and women who fought for the United Kingdom and the Allied forces. It’s dedicated to the many animals who served alongside human soldiers throughout the 20th century.
The memorial shows sculptures of two mules, a horse, and a dog, all posed near a cracked wall. A stream of other animals, including elephants and pigeons, is shown on the wall itself. It’s a touching tribute to the beasts of burden who had no choice but to enter the wars.
Dogs hunted for hidden weapons or dug trapped soldiers out of the rubble. Horses and mules carted heavy gear and munitions. They worked tirelessly, and often for little recognition. Elephants hauled supplies across distant lands, and pigeons soared through the sky delivering key information.
The public raised over one million pounds to erect the monument, which was unveiled in 2004. It’s a belated homage to the animals who, as the memorial states, had no choice but to serve and die. The memorial has since become a spot where locals come to pay tribute to their own beloved, lost pets.
Update as of July 2023: The area is fenced off indefinitely for restoration work.