THE BRAVE pets who mucked in to help during war have been showcased in a series of colourised snaps.
One of the photos, from July 1944, showed Jasper, a mine-detecting dog, having his ear bandaged by a sergeant of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in Bayeaux, France.
Another of the pictures is of Simon, ship’s cat for the Royal Navy’s HMS Amethyst. In 1949, Simon was injured when a cannon shell hit the captain’s cabin, and survived against all odds, later becoming the only cat ever to be awarded the Dickin Medal.
The photos were colourised by Tom Marshall for PhotograFix, who lives close to the Defence Animal Training Regiment base near Melton Mowbray, UK.
Tom decided to recolour the pictures to honour the memories of the animals who gave their lives in human wars, and urges people to wear a purple poppy commemorating animal sacrifices alongside their red ones this Remembrance Sunday.
“I colourise photos as a way of creating a new interest in these images, some of which are over one-hundred years old,” said Tom.
“I hope to highlight the contributions made by these animals, some of whom were later recognised officially by means of the Dickin Medal, awarded fifty-four times between 1943 and 1949, to thirty-two pigeons, eighteen dogs, three horses, and a ship’s cat.”
Other photos in the collection showed a messenger pigeon bus, a trench cat who was a mascot for the troops, the Air Raid Warden’s first search and rescue dog, and a horse carrying boots alongside a soldier.
“I believe colourising can be a useful means of starting a conversation or sparking the interest of those put off by black and white archive images,” finished Tom.