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Christians Against All Animal Abuse
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From Winter 2008 Issue

Remembrance Service At The Animals’ War Memorial In London

A year long promise by my husband to Cynthia O’Neill culminated at the Animals War Memorial, Brooke Gate, Park Lane, London, on Sunday 9th November 2008.
 
Last year Cynthia had kept a vigil in her wheelchair for over an hour at the memorial when only one man and his dog passed by, laying a bunch of flowers on the memorial steps.  Last year she mentioned this fact to James on the phone, and he said, God willing he would join her in November 2008 at the memorial and they could have a little service together.

As we approached the memorial about 10.15a.m. we could see a few people in the distance.  As we got nearer we were surprised to see a crowd of about fifty to sixty people waiting for us with Cynthia.  She had made it!  So had we!  Wonderful!
 
The morning was bright, a hazy sun and cool breeze, the russet leaves blowing all around us against the huge semi-circular off- white concrete memorial behind us.  Two black horses in front are laden with ammunition and seem to be galloping through a two foot gap in the monument to the other side where there are two black dogs.  There are carvings of many animals on the front left side and on the right ANIMALS IN WAR and THEY HAD NO CHOICE are inscribed. 
 
The service, to remember animals maimed and killed as the Victims of War, began promptly at 10.30 a.m. and was conducted by my husband James. We. had travelled up from our home in Holywell, North Wales the previous day.

The service started with a Call to Worship.  This was followed by a short address by Cynthia (left on photo above)..  She was a Queen’s Nurse, and all her life has campaigned tirelessly to improve the lives of animals. 
 
A new hymn written for such an occasion by Linda J. Bodicoat was sung next, to the rousing tune (Thaxted - we know it as I Vow to thee my Country).  Then a passage of scripture from the Holy Bible (parts from Isaiah Chapter 2 and Chapter 11) was read by myself.  Another hymn – ‘Behold the Mountain of the Lord’, to the tune Glasgow, followed by prayers,  and a quiet time reflecting on the animals.  This brought us up to the two minutes silence, which was observed at exactly 11.00a.m, when we remembered all the people and animals affected by war.  A third new hymn written by James was sung to the tune (St. Anne). 
 
Flowers, wreaths and posies. were placed on the steps of the memorial. by individuals; some representing the Anglicans, Roman Catholic and Quaker animal welfare associations. The Christian Vegetarian association; The Order Of The Cross; and The Fellowship Of Life were also represented; and it was most heartening to find several prominent members of. the TV and theatrical world gracing us with their presence.
 
The ceremony came to a close with the singing of the Doxology to the tune  (Old 100th) and the Blessing. Afterwards many people mingled and renewed old acquaintances.  Some were reading the inscriptions on the memorial.  Amongst the crowd I noticed Jenny Seagrove with her large brown and white very well behaved dog, and Miranda Richardson. 
 
After seeing many people we had not seen for many years,  we were whisked away by our very kind hosts in their car to a Vegan Restaurant in Fulham where we had a lovely meal and a time to relax, before joining our train at Euston for the journey home.                                   
                                                       -    Doreen Thompson.

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