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Bonzo's War Animals Under Fire, 1939 -1945 by Clare Campbell

Bonzo's War Animals Under Fire, 1939 -1945

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Sue Baker's view...

March 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

The cover illustration of a forlorn girl and her equally forlorn Airedale dog stand outside a shop advertising “No Dog Biscuits Today” summing up the plight of the many animals caught up in WWII. Beside hunger there was fear and danger from bombing, there were animals having to be evacuated, being eaten (as one traumatic tale handed down in my own family can attest), being put down or starving to death. There is much to tell and much little known history to reveal, a task Clare Campbell takes on with elan – and humour at times – mostly at the antics of the humans involved.

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Bonzo's War Animals Under Fire, 1939 -1945 by Clare Campbell

What was it like to be a dog or cat when the world was at war? When food was rationed and cities were bombed? Pets (on the whole) do not write memoirs, so to find the answer to that question, Clare Campbell went in search of voices of those people whose lives were entwined with animals. She found stories - inspiring and harrowing - of animals under fire, of evacuated and homeless pets, of brave animals who provided comfort to humans while the bombs fell. Of pets unwittingly entangled in war, like the Dunkirk pets and the camp followers who switched sides to stay alive; and the 6,000 dogs recruited by the British Army - loaned for duty by their families - many never to return. Meanwhile with food in short supply, government officials launched a ruthless campaigns against pets...Thoroughly researched and deeply moving, Bonzo's War gives a fascinating account of, and platform for, the forgotten stories as yet unheard, of the creatures big and small caught up in a human conflict far beyond understanding.


Filled with fascinating detail, this is a heavenly and most touching book. I was deeply moved. -- Jilly Cooper

Bonzo's surely destined to remain the definitive work on this small yet fascinating subject. **** - Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Clare Campbell

Clare Campbell is an author and journalist. She writes regularly for the Daily Mail and contributes to Marie Claire. She is the author of out Out of It (2007) and Tokyo Hostess (2009). She recently ghosted the national bestseller Bringing Down The Krays (2012) by Bobby Teale. Her husband and co-author Christy Campbell is the former defence correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph. His latest book is Target London (2012).

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Book Info

Publication date

6th March 2014


Clare Campbell

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Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson


416 pages


Biography / Autobiography
Books of the Month
eBook Favourites

Second World War
Domestic animals & pets



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