REMEMBRANCE . . . Gretna and Rigg community councillors Alex Thomson, left, and Ian Clark, right, unveil the new Animals in War statue alongside keen historian Heath Hampson at Gretna’s new museum
The Royal Pigeon Racing Association’s Cumbria branch offered the unique Animals in War memorial to members of Gretna and Rigg Community Council earlier this year – and they were delighted to accept it this week.
Located in the newly opened Great Story of Gretna visitor attraction, which is situated
within The Chapel in Glasgow Road, the concrete structure pays tribute to the many
breeds of animals that perished on the frontline.
And it comes just months after a £10,400 polished granite statue, which was created by the same committee, was unveiled at the Devil’s Porridge in Eastriggs.
Welcoming the memorial, Gretna and Rigg Community Council chairman Alex Thomson said: “We wanted to do something for the area and are delighted that we have a new museum to display the statue. Animals played such a vital role in both world wars, especially the pigeons and horses.
“I think it is fantastic and a legacy for those who lost loved ones in the war. We sometimes forget about all the animals that played such a pivotal role so it’s nice to reward them in this way.”
Keen historian and museum owner Heath Hampson has displayed the memorial alongside gallantry medals awarded to animals and a commemorative plaque.
He added: “It’s a great addition to the museum and I was delighted when I was asked if I would consider displaying it. It is a unique statue and fitting to have it in an area where we have a lot of successful pigeon fanciers.”
And founding member of the Animals in War committee Stephen Glencross is overjoyed the venture has come to fruition following six months of planning.
He said: “After building the statue at the Devil’s Porridge we wanted to carry something on and this monument is for animals in war and peace.
“We could not build a massive one again but we want to carry on doing little monuments and plaques so young people can see what the animals have done throughout the centuries.”