The Animals in War Memorial, located outside Hyde Park near Brook Gate, commemorates animals that died in wars and conflicts. The creatures ranged from mules which were silenced in the Burmese jungle in World War 2 by having their vocal cords cut to glow worms, used by soldiers as a source of light to read maps in World War 1.
The memorial was unveiled by the Princess Royal in November 2004, on the 90th anniversary of the start of World War 1. It was inspired by Animals in War, a book by Jilly Cooper. A national appeal raised the £2 million cost of the memorial.
The memorial was designed by David Backhouse and consists of a 58ft curved Portland stone wall displaying carvings of animals. Two heavily-laden bronze mules struggle through a gap in the wall and ahead of them a horse and dog head off into the distance.
A wall depicts silhouettes of carved animals, along with an inscription detailing the numbers of animals lost. Beneath the main heading "Animals in War", the memorial has two inscriptions:
"This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and Allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time."
The second, smaller inscription simply reads: "They had no choice."
The Animals in War Memorial is not managed by The Royal Parks. For more information about the Animals in War Memorial visit the Animals in War Memorial Fund.