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Bunny goes to battle

Gas masks were invented to help protect soldiers and horses during the First World War.
Photo: Library and Archives Canada PA-005001

Bonfire Jr.

Neigh! My ancestor Bonfire and his good friend Bunny the horse were two of the thousands of Canadian hooved heroes who served with troops in the First World War. We don’t know exactly how Bunny got his name, but it could have been because of his long ears!

In 1914, Bunny was part of a group of 18 horses that were sent overseas by the Toronto police force to serve in the conflict.

Soldiers and horses experienced very harsh conditions. Bunny and his battalion saw action in the first gas attack in Belgium. It was awful. Soldiers and horses could barely breathe and many lost their lives. But Bunny survived and went on to later serve in one of Canada’s best known battles of the war at Vimy Ridge, France, in April 1917. Bunny must have had a lucky horse shoe because he was the only one of his original group of 18 horses to survive the war.

During this special 100th anniversary year of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, let’s remember brave horses like Bunny and Bonfire.

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