By Andželika Jasevičiūtė, Bored Panda, November 11, 2019
Since early October, the staff of the Australian War Memorial located in Canberra has noticed a strange incident.
For a while, the poppies from an unknown soldier’s grave have been disappearing one by one. It took them some time to figure out the culprit which turned out to be a pigeon.
The bird has been picking the flowers from the tomb to build a stunning, colorful nest by a stained glass window at the war memorial.
The beautiful nest lead-up to Remembrance Day commemorations that are held on November 11th.
The war memorial told Sydney Morning Herald that the stained glass window which was accidentally chosen by the bird commemorates the wounded soldier, which symbolizes the quality of “endurance”, and the nest of poppies nearby was a “reminder of the powerful bond between man and beast on the battlefield”.
“Particularly in the early wars, communication is really difficult. Wireless is in its absolute infancy in the First World War and telephone wires get broken apart in the shellfire on the Western Front. So pigeons are particularly of use in warfare when you’ve got a couple of men trying to get a message from where they are back to the backline; a pigeon can get that through sometimes when nothing else can, ” historian Dr. Meleah Hampton said.
During World War II, 32 pigeons received The PDSA Dickin Medal which is awarded to any animal displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.
All photos courtesy of The Australian War Memorial