Memorial for animals killed in war has royal backing

Animals in War memorial
Image caption London's Animals in War memorial was unveiled by Princess Anne in 2004

A Carlisle man campaigning for a memorial to animals killed in war has received a county council grant and support from the Queen.

Stephen Glencross wants a monument in the city's Bitts Park for dogs, horses and pigeons killed in service.

He has received £500 from the Local Committee for Carlisle and has been promised a pigeon to auction from the royal Pigeon Loft in Sandringham.

"We must show respect to all animals in war, through all conflicts," he said.

The huge number of animals used, and killed, in conflicts also includes mules, camels, elephants, dolphins, sea lions and glow worms.

During World War II private breeders supplied about 200,000 pigeons to the National Pigeon Service and 50,000 were bred by the United States Army.

'Wee terrier'

The Princess Royal unveiled the Animals in War memorial in Park Lane, London in 2004.

But Mr Glencross said there was an "enormous amount" of support for another memorial in Carlisle, 300 miles north of the capital.

He needs £10,000 and plans an auction of pigeons in Flimby in September to raise funds.

Fellow pigeon fancier Bill Southward approached the Queen's loft manager, Peter Farrow, at a House of Commons dinner and asked for help.

"I never let a good thing go by," Mr Southward said.

"Once I met him and knew who he was, I was in like a wee terrier. I was pleased when he said yes."

A spokesperson for the Sandringham Estate confirmed a pigeon would be donated in time for the sale.

Mr Southward said the bird would have the Queen's personal ring, with the initials ER, and could raise between £200 and £300.

The monument is expected to be 6ft (2m) tall, standing on a 5ft (1.5m) plinth and showing a horse, dog and soldier releasing a pigeon.

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