Va'n Caggey Mooar ayn rish kiare blein. Ayns y chaggey hooar ymmodee beiyn baase. ‘Ayns cooinaghtyn jeh shirveish-chaggee ny beiyn oney ooilley as y surranse oc er nyn son. Cha row reih erbee oc’. Focklyn scruit ayns Gaelg er y slongan liorish Beiyn Lhiaght Cooinaghtyn Caggee ayns Lunnin.
The Great War lasted four years. During this war a great many animals died. ‘Ayns cooinaghtyn jeh shirveish-chaggee ny beiyn oney ooilley as y surranse oc er nyn son. Cha row reih erbee oc’ (In remembrance of the war service of all the innocent animals and their suffering on our behalf. They had no choice) were the words written in Manx Gaelic on the wreath laid on the Animals War Memorial in London.
During the First World War horses, mules and donkeys were requisitioned from civilians in all parts of Europe. Many suffered horrific deaths from wounds, thirst, starvation, disease, exposure and exhaustion. So whilst we quite correctly remember the carnage and death suffered by people during the First World War. Let us also remember the suffering of animals in all wars. In the First World War, while ten million people perished, the death rate amongst warhorses was proportionately higher with some eight million killed on all sides. Countless mules and donkeys also perished. All participants in this terrible War (as all wars are) used animals. So it is right in this year of the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War to also remember their terrible suffering.