At the weekend, Pan Orthodox Concern for Animals representatives attended the Service of Remembrance Sunday, which commemorates the animals who have died in various human conflicts. This was held at the ‘Animals in War Memorial’ in Park Lane. The Memorial is beautiful, moving and well worth a visit.

The service was organised by the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) and undertaken by Revd Prof Martin Henig and Revd Dr Helen Hall (Front row). Fr. Simon from our charity is in the back row. Prayers were said, hymns were sung and wreaths were laid.

A small pamphlet ‘Animals in War’ by Louise Clark, was freely available and we include some of that information here.

London’s Park Lane memorial is dedicated to the often forgotten animal victims of war, who served, suffered and died whilst involved in human conflict. The numbers of fallen animals in this pamphlet reminds us of the huge sacrifice of animal life involved in human conflicts: 326,073 horses died in the Boer War; 8,000,000 died in the WW1. It was the sight of ex-cavalry horses who were sold into hard labour on the streets or in the stone quarries of Egypt that led to the establishment of The Old War Horse Memorial Hospital in Cairo which is now known as The Brooke Hospital. Other animals listed are mules and donkeys; pigeons; dogs; cats; camels; oxen and elephants, dolphins and sea lions; canaries – even glow worms which were used in WW1, to allow soldiers to read maps in the dark before going over the top of the trenches.

When we returned from our time in Pakistan, we took with us a Mine Clearance dog, who was deaf and old but lived out her days with us with a great deal of love and care. When she was diagnosed in cancer when living with us in the Seychelles, the vet came to our home out of respect for her service to mankind. She was given a burial at sea curtesy of our friends at the local diving club.

We are also informed of the animals who are ‘civilian’ yet caught up in the wars across the globe, learning of the animals in zoos who are forgotten and die from hunger or thirst, or who are stolen and killed for food and, of the efforts of service men and women who have tried to bring back animals they have befriended in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

This pamphlet can be obtained from ASWA at

Intercessions for Remembrance Sunday 2019, was given by Revd. Prof. Martin Henig and is used here with permission:

Loving Lord, we pray for your wonderful creation; we pray for peace in our world; we pray for mindfulness of and forgiveness for the long history of human conflict resulting in the suffering of humans and other animals over countless generations; we pray for those engaged or co-opted  in conflict both as combatants and as civilians and all creatures who have suffered and are suffering as a result of war, especially in the past century or so.

 This afternoon we meet together in prayer especially for those who have cared and continue to care for animals in battle and in conflict zones, whether members of armed forces or civilians, just as we pray for the animals themselves. We give thanks for the love and gentleness of all who have honoured and continue to honour the integrity of life, human and non-human, as the gift of God.

Lord hear us…Lord graciously hear us.

Loving Lord, we give thanks for those animals that have born the burden in wars, not their own choosing, for the species shown on this memorial. We remember the horses taken from their farms to serve as cavalry mounts and as beasts of burden; we also recall the many donkeys and asses, camels and elephants, dogs and pigeons employed in war.

Lord hear us… Lord graciously hear us.

Loving Lord, we pray for the animals that have been loving companions to men and women, facing loneliness, and isolation in conflict zones and given that love which we call ‘humane’ though often expressed where most needed in conflict zones by non- human creatures.

Lord hear us… Lord graciously hear us.

Loving Lord, we pray for all animals which have been killed, suffered from wounds, suffered from trauma, have lost security and habitat; have suffered from malnutrition and from neglect as a result of the devastation of war. We pray for a time when swords will be beaten into ploughshares, and spears into pruning hooks, when humans and all other creatures will at last enjoy the heavenly bliss promised when Our Lord will restore all creation to the new Jerusalem, a new Eden.

Lord hear us… Lord graciously hear us.

Loving Lord, we ask for protection for all animals in the care of the armed forces and the police, whether on active service or on ceremonial duties, not forgetting police dogs so often on the front-line and facing danger when confronting criminals in our own country, We pray also for the wild animals on MOD land in this country and on sovereign bases abroad, and we pray for all those in the armed services as well as licensed civilians responsible for other creatures. Finally, we pray for ourselves and for all creation.

Lord hear us… Lord graciously hear us.

There was also an address by a Metropolitan Police Dog handler (see top photo) who described the strong bond between the handler and dog.  This too was very moving.

The service is held each year on the afternoon of Remembrance Sunday so please mark it in your diary for next year and come to celebrate the animals who have died in wars across the world.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from several animal organisations and we shall make this a regular POCA event with the laying of wreath and a prayer, written for this event by Fr Simon.