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Thread: UK's pet cull in 1939

  1. #1

    Default UK's pet cull in 1939

    Is this why the cavalier breed nearly "died out" in the UK in World War II? According to Tina and Dennis Homes' book, only 60 cavaliers were registered with the UK Kennel Club between 1940 and 1945. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24478532 UK HUMANE DESTRUCTION HANDBOOK 1939.jpg

    Here is the book they are talking about: Bonzo's War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945 http://amzn.to/1exasV3
    Rod Russell

  2. #2

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    Not just Cavaliers: if a few Mastiffs hadn't been sent to the USA just before the outbreak of war, that breed would have died out entirely.

    It was extremely difficult for people to keep dogs, and the larger the breed the more problems there were. People had enough difficulty feeding themselves. One available food for dogs was the "lights" of an animal - basically the lungs, boiled up in a not very pleasant smelling stew. I don't think they had much nutritional value, but my mother fed our pet dogs on these for years. Those who had access to an abbatoir could get green tripe, but as domestic freezers were not part of a normal household, there was no way of keeping it and it had to be collected virtually daily.

    It's a bit salutory to think that there were still some items for which one needed ration coupons when I was born, a little after the war ended.

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 01-12-2014 at 09:30 AM.

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    Does anyone remember Stephen Poliakoff's TV drama 'Glorious 39' ? This film and some of its scenes of the panic of wartime pet destructions, still haunts me. Ironically these scenes were filmed in one of the parks I take my dogs to. It is a beautiful National Trust managed park but for a long time that film made me look at it quite differently.

    http://www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/n...ler_in_Merton/

    Tracey

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodRussell View Post
    Is this why the cavalier breed nearly "died out" in the UK in World War II? According to Tina and Dennis Homes' book, only 60 cavaliers were registered with the UK Kennel Club between 1940 and 1945. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24478532 UK HUMANE DESTRUCTION HANDBOOK 1939.jpg

    Here is the book they are talking about: Bonzo's War: Animals Under Fire 1939 -1945 http://amzn.to/1exasV3
    Hello Rod,
    Bonzo's War is a very interesting, if not disturbing, book, in fact we have reviewed it in this month's Cavaliers as Companions.
    Dennis

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leogem View Post
    Hello Rod,
    Bonzo's War is a very interesting, if not disturbing, book, in fact we have reviewed it in this month's Cavaliers as Companions.
    Dennis
    I should have known! Always one step ahead ...
    Rod Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leogem View Post
    Hello Rod,
    Bonzo's War is a very interesting, if not disturbing, book, in fact we have reviewed it in this month's Cavaliers as Companions.
    Dennis
    Disturbing in more ways in one for me Dennis.

    I am another who grew up visiting that beautiful park. I was chatting on the'phone to someone or other a while back and trying to think of the name of it, but it had been long forgotten, but not how beautiful and tranquil it was there. So I went onto Amazon to order the DVD, mainly so that I could see it again.

    Then I had another look at your review of Bonzo's War and decided I would like to have it, so went onto Play.com to put in an advance order. Just as my Visa was being verified the whole internet crashed, fortunately not about my ears though so unlucky for some (wicked grin) I'm still in one piece, albeit without the internet late last night and through the entire morning. Disturbing yes I think you could say that
    Warmest wishes
    Flo

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    I believe the main problem with Cavaliers was with the large breeding kennels, where they could not only get enough food to feed them but they also lost their kennel maids to more vital war efforts. I've read this elsewhere, probably in one of my Cavalier books, but I can't remember which.

    I think too, some of what had been pets had their status changed to food items - e.g. rabbits. I had friend whose parents kept them for this and the poor little things lived on a diet of tea leaves and cabbage stalks before being added to the cooking pot.

    Jane, we spent much time after the war with my army father in Germany, and I think rationing lasted much longer for us over there. He was a heavy smoker and I remember him being thrilled when I was 16 and got my own cigarette ration - which he promptly claimed. I believe a lot of what was rationed to forces families was to stop it being sold on the black market. I remember my mum trading coffee for fresh eggs! The American forces over there were much better off, Rod, and had treats we could never have seen otherwise.

    Rosemary

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    I was really thinking about food items: sugar, butter and meat were certainly still rationed when I was young. I don't know about cigarettes! I have a vague recollection that Dad said he had cigarettes in the army, and as he didn’t smoke, traded them for other things. He did smoke a pipe, but that may have started after he’d been demobbed. I think tea and coffee may have been rationed, as I’m sure my mother told me my parents swapped their tea ration for my paternal grandmother’s coffee ration: she was a great tea drinker. Tom said he remembered when he saw his first banana because it looked so funny, and was dreadfully disappointed that he didn’t like the taste as it had been given to him as a great treat! It may have been under-ripe.

    I think that what was rationed to the forces was different to what civilians in the UK could have.

    Dad spent the last part of the war and a couple of years afterwards in India, Burma and Thailand, where food didn't seem to be a problem. He and his fellow soldiers ate out in restaurants in Thailand from time to time. Tom and I took my parents to a Thai restaurant once and Dad greeted the waitress in Thai, and did an elaborate hand gesture which delighted her, although she said it was a little old fashioned. It was a huge shock for him to get back to the UK. He said he worked on a farm where he "lived in" and the farmer trapped or shot rabbits which the farmer's wife tried to cook in different ways but rabbit was the only meat he ate (he said: could have exaggerated slightly!) for about two years.

    There were a few pedigree dogs around: as one aunt had a pedigree Cocker Spaniel who was born in about 1947 – 1948. I think his breeders were farmers; people who could “find” food for dogs rather more easily than could the general public.

    My first father in law had been a Japanese prisoner of war, rescued by Americans. He was in very poor health and billeted with a family in San Fransisco so that he could build his strength up enough to be repatriated. He ate some very unusual, to him, food. This included peanut butter and marmalade on toast! He’d never seen peanut butter before. I tried the combination and it is surprisingly nice: the acidity of the marmalade cuts the grease of the peanut butter, but it must contain zillions of calories. He was clearly well looked after, as my first husband was born pretty much nine months after his father’s return to the UK.

    Jane

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    I can remember post war my mother cooking 'lights' for our dogs in a pressure cooker. The smell was appalling.
    Warm wishes,
    Ruth

  10. #10

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    Girls,
    You are bringing back childhood memories for me! I had a Blue Ration Book (as a baby I had a green one). Both my elder sisters had beige coloured adult Ration Books. You could have 2 oz sugar a week, and I spent mine on sweets.
    The lady in the shop tore out a square each week, and stamped the book.
    We kept hens behind the house - almost everyone did - so that we at least had eggs, if not much else.Dried egg in a tin was the alternative.
    My Dad had an Allotment - we called it a 'plot' - where he grew all sorts of veg, potatoes etc. He went straight there after work to 'lift' whatever was ready, so Mum could make soup.
    I know Rationing was still in place in the late 40s and perhaps into the very early 50's, but can't remember for sure.
    I wonder how many 'obese' folks there were in those days? I would guess, not many.
    Thanks for the memories.........
    Elspeth

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