Page 33 - Chiron Calling Spring 2019
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Remount Barracks, Melton Mowbray, courtesy of the Corps RSM, or at a venue which is decided by the members on their previous meeting. Details are published on the RAVC Association website or through the Regimental Secretary.
There is an urgent need for new members to join the Melton Branch and also a couple to join the RAVC Association Committee of Management to replace those who are retiring. Anyone interested in either joining the Melton Branch, serving or retired, should contact either the DATR RSM on 01664 418622 or the Regimental Secretary at:
More information can be found on the website:
Chiron Calling
Chiron Calling can now be read on line, via the RAVC Association website. We are continuing our exercise to reduce the number of hard copies being sent to all members as this is proving costly with the increasing cost of postage and packing. If you fail to
receive the next copy of Chiron Calling, you are advised to visit the website to read the latest and recent editions.
Please note the date for the RAVC Reunion for 2019 will be on Saturday 22 June 2019. This was agreed at the AGM on 27 July 18 and is designed to reduce the workload for the DATR and 1 MWD Regt and also to celebrate the Reunion closer to the John Shipp Day on 25 June, which is recognised as the day of the formation of the Corps.
Owing to problems encountered in downloading some materiel and images through the MODNet system, all future articles for Chiron Calling are to be sent to the Regt Sec’s standalone system:
 In October 2018, as part of the 100th anniversary commemoration events for the First World War, the Blue Cross Animal Charity launched a video Blue Cross at War, narrated by the actress Felicity Kendall. This excellent ten minute video highlights the Charity’s work with military animals during both World Wars. Founded in 1897 as Our Dumb Friends League the Charity changed its name to Blue Cross in 1950. The Society’s Animals’ Hospital, possibly the first of its kind in the world, was opened in London in1906, to provide a veterinary and nursing service for the animals of poor people. The Drivers’ and Horsekeepers’ Branch worked to improve the conditions of working horses in London. In 1912 the Charity established a Blue Cross Fund to provide support for animals during the Balkan War of 1912-1913. The Fund was re-launched in August 1914
The veterinary work of the voluntary animal charities, notably the RSPCA and Blue Cross Society, during 1914-1919 is an often neglected but significant element in the war effort.
£1/4 million (equivalent to over £12.5 million today). By the end of the war some 13 hospitals (for 13,500 horses) were equipped, each with an operating theatre, forage barns and dressing sheds. A complete convalescent depot was funded and tented hospitals provided to accommodate a further 6,800 horses. They also funded 180 horse and 26 motor ambulances plus a great range of equipment. A reference in the Veterinary Record mentions the work of Lady French and Mrs Adelaide M. Moore (wife of Major-General Sir Moore DGAVC, BEF) in raising money for the RSPCA. Mrs Moore also established a fund providing money and clothes for AVC personnel.
Our Dumb Friends League, did not wait for the War Office to reconsider the offer of their services in August 1914 but immediately began to provide support to British Army units mobilising at Home. The Charity also offered its services, which were accepted with alacrity, by the less well provided French Army and later Italian and US forces. From 1917 the Charity also provided veterinary care for French Army “war dogs” used for patrolling and as sentinels, watchdogs and messengers.
The Charity Raised over £170,000 (the equivalent of nearly £6.5 million today) to support military forces in the UK and most
Lest We Forget
The Work of the Animal Charities 1914-1918
By Dr Graham Winton, PhD, FRGS, FRHistS
  The animal charities offered their
services to the War Office in August 1914
but were turned down. The War Office
did not deem it necessary for charitable
societies to augment the veterinary work
already arranged by army services, the
Army Veterinary Corps. In November 1914, the Army Council reconsidered and accepted the offer made by the RSPCA which was then designated by the War Office as the Voluntary Aid Society to veterinary services in the field. The War Office and Imperial General Communications in France agreed to accept the RSPCA’s offer of ten motor lorries, ten motor ambulances, nine corn and chaff cutters, 2,000 shelters (stabling accommodation), 5,000 horse rugs, 5,000 headstalls, 5,000 halters and 5,000 sets of bandages. A Society representative in France personally superintended, for example, the erection of No.8 Veterinary Hospital at Forges-les-Eaux and stabling for 500 animals at Gournay. The RSPCA provided their own trained veterinary staff, helped recruit new staff and set up an official fund ‘For Sick and Wounded Animals’, raising over
Our Dumb Friend’s League hospital, Western Front
other theatres of war. Horse ambulances, portable forges, vital veterinary chests and equipment were provided to over 3,500 British units. The Charity treated over 50,000 sick and injured horses and 18,000 dogs. Work continued after the Armistice with the rehabilitation of demobilised army horses, including the rescue of more than 4,000 horses sold abroad as working horses, some of which had been mistreated.
The Blue Cross at War film: bluecrossatwar.
In 1990, the Charity also published a short, well illustrated, book of some 70 pages the ‘Blue Cross at War 1914-1918 and 1939-1945’’. This can be down loaded free of charge: ‘Blue Cross at War’ - default/files/downloads/109890.pdf

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