Backbone of Transportation

Canadian soldier puckers up for a kiss during a patrol in Afghanistan in 2005.
(Photo: Department of National Defence KA2005-R105-0156d)

Mingalaba! This is how we say hello in the mother tongue of my ancestor Bandoola. He was an elephant who served in Burma during the Second World War, helping build bridges, and carry soldiers and equipment. Elephants and other four-legged animals sure have helped soldiers a lot!

Horses are well-known for their work in war. Soldiers rode into battle on horseback for hundreds of years. Horses, mules and donkeys also often hauled ammunition and supplies and transported the wounded to dressing stations.

Even dogs stepped forward to help! They pulled sleds with supplies or delivered messages on the battlefield. Specially trained dogs were vital in helping medics on the front lines as they would transport first aid materials right to where they were needed.

Canadian soldiers have also encountered more exotic beasts of burden, such as camels, when they served in deserts during peacekeeping missions and more recently in Afghanistan.

There is no doubt that animals had been a backbone of transportation during war. I can’t wait to get back to school to talk about my project!

Ellie the elephant
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