in 1936, at the entrance to the Lille Zoo, the French Federation of Pigeon Fanciers erected a memorial ‘to the 20,000 pigeons who died for their country’ and ‘to the pigeon fanciers who were executed by the enemy for having kept them’.
While researching for my first novel, UNRAVELLED, I came across the use of carrier pigeons by the military, even found statistics tracking their successful communications on behalf of the Canadian Signal Corps. Clearly the people of Lille were even more dedicated to these faithful birds who kept the information flowing.
Inscription beneath the monument is: Au Pigeon Voyageur.
I will never curse another pigeon …