Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • Corporal of the Worcestershire Regiment and Canine Companion Circa 1917

    Corporal of the Worcestershire Regiment and Canine Companion Circa 1917
    “Dogs of the First World War” is an exhibition at Bishopsgate Institute showcasing images from the Libby Hall Collection. From Hall’s collection of thousands of canine images comes insight into the bond between man and dog, especially during times of war. The following slides contain more information provided by the Bishopsgate Institute about the history of the role dogs played in WWI.
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • Four Soldiers Standing Behind Seated Civilians and Two Dogs, Aug. 1, 1915

    Four Soldiers Standing Behind Seated Civilians and Two Dogs, Aug. 1, 1915
    According to Bishopsgate Institute, “The kind of jobs that the dogs did were messengers, Red Cross dogs, sentries, guard dogs, carriers, and locating the wounded all carried out in the heat of the battle with gunfire and explosions going on all around them. Initial canine 'recruits' came from dogs’ homes around the country, then as the demand exceeded supply the police were ordered to send strays of certain breeds, and finally an appeal was made to the public to donate their pets.”
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • Staff Sergeant (Horse Farrier) of the Army Service Corps (ASC) With the Corps Pet Dogs, Hissy and Jack in France, August 1916

    Staff Sergeant (Horse Farrier) of the Army Service Corps (ASC) With the Corps Pet Dogs, Hissy and Jack in France, August 1916
    “Red Cross dogs were credited with saving thousands of lives. This work very much relied on a dog’s extraordinary sense of smell, which is up to 100,000 times more acute than a human’s. The dogs were trained to search the battlefield, under the cover of darkness, and find wounded soldiers who were often hidden to avoid being detected by the enemy. The dogs carried in small saddle pouches medical supplies and a mild stimulant to aid those suffering. They would take back a cap or other such item and then lead the stretcher bearers back to the wounded soldier.”
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • The note on reverse of card: "France, August 1916. Our Corps pet St Bernard named Hissy 8 months old & the Terrier named Jack. May - just after we came out here 16 months - & our Staff Sgt Farrier Len Nusse."

    The note on reverse of card: "France, August 1916. Our Corps pet St Bernard named Hissy 8 months old & the Terrier named Jack. May - just after we came out here 16 months - & our Staff Sgt Farrier Len Nusse."
    “The messenger dogs used in France to send messages to and from the Front had an especially important role when all other means of communication had broken down. Human runners and pigeons were also used to carry messages but dogs were often three to four times faster than a human runner, more agile, less of a target, and unlike pigeons, they were also able to work in foggy and dark conditions. Each dog was registered, and given a name and number stamped on its collar. Messages were put inside a tin cylinder attached to the dogs’ collars.”
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • Two German Officers probably of General von Kluck's, 1st German Army, resting behind the lines at Le Cateau, France, Christmas 1916, during the grinding battles of attrition at the Somme and Verdun.

    Two German Officers probably of General von Kluck's, 1st German Army, resting behind the lines at Le Cateau, France, Christmas 1916, during the grinding battles of attrition at the Somme and Verdun.
    According to the Bishopsgate Institute, “Many soldiers at the Front adopted dogs as pets. Dogs are known for their empathic abilities towards humans; these unofficial mascots provided affection and a psychological comfort to the soldiers. Dogs not only provided companionship but some breeds, such as Jack Russell Terriers, became invaluable as ‘ratters’ and helped to clear the trenches of rat infestations.”
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • Officers, Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, of the Army Service Corps (ASC) Circa 1917

    Officers, Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, of the Army Service Corps (ASC) Circa 1917
    Libby Hall, the collector of these photographs, has lived with dogs her entire life. She says she became intrigued by old photographs that included dogs and began collecting them. As she was growing her collection, she said "it seemed to turn into a testimony to the extraordinary relationship that can exist between dogs and people: dogs that you knew were loved companions of people living on their own, dogs that were included in photographs as important members of the family or group."
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • 209th (Norfolk) Field Company, Royal Engineers, of the 34th Division

    209th (Norfolk) Field Company, Royal Engineers, of the 34th Division
    Hall became ever more interested in these photographs and began learning about different formats of photographs as a means to understand more about where and when they came from if dates were not provided.
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive
  • A British Messenger Dog in France During the First World War, May 19, 1918.

    A British Messenger Dog in France During the First World War, May 19, 1918.
    The exhibition, “Dogs of the First World War,” is on display at <a href="http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/" target="_blank">Bishopsgate Institute</a> in London, March 10, 2015, until June 26, 2015.
    Libby Hall Collection/Bishopsgate Institute Archive