Canada Parks Remembers Animal War Heroes: Fritz & Bruno

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Image: Donald E. Bent Family 

The First World War was the last major conflict in which large numbers of animals served alongside soldiers on the battlefield. Millions of horses died, while dogs, bear cubs and other animals became mascots.

Fritz and Bruno, a war horse and sheepdog, hold a special place in local military history. They belonged to Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Bent, commanding officer of the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders). In 1918, during the “Hundred Days” advance in France, Canadian forces captured a German position, including Fritz, a Russian bay horse, and his German officer. Several years earlier Bruno had been adopted by Canadian soldiers billeted on a Belgian farm, and became the 15th Battalion’s mascot.

At the end of the war, Bent brought Fritz and Bruno home to his farm in Paradise, Nova Scotia, where the companions are buried side by side. A popular and decorated officer, Bent served his country again during the Second World War.

Canada’s participation in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945) touched every community in this country. Parks Canada invites Canadians to join us in commemorating individuals from all walks of life who made unique contributions to the war effort. During these global conflicts, civilians and those in the armed forces played a crucial role in protecting and building their communities and thus Canada as a whole. Get to know the remarkable stories of these Hometown Heroes, honour their memory and express your gratitude for their service by visiting Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites, National Parks, and National Marine Conservation Areas. We Will Remember Them…

Source: Parks Canada – Canada 150: Hometown Heroes