Peterborough Paralympian recreates iconic WWI image to celebrate 125th anniversary of the Blue Cross charity

Gold medal-winning Paralympian Lauren Steadman MBE joined comedian Bill Bailey and actor and presenter David Harewood MBE to pose for the picture with her beloved rescue dog, Kira.

By Adam Barker
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 5:00 am

Peterborough Paralympian Lauren Steadman MBE has recreated an iconic image from the First World War to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the national pet charity Blue Cross.

Steadman, who won a gold medal in the women’s paratriathlon at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, joined comedian Bill Bailey and actor and presenter David Harewood MBE to recreate images from the Blue Cross’ historic archive - raising awareness of the charity’s continued commitment to the welfare of pets.

The Peterborough-born Paralympian, who has competed in swimming and paratriathlon at four summer Paralympics, stepped back in time, posing with her rescue dog, Kira, to recreate a ‘Blue Cross Fund’ poster – a project first created by the charity to help animals during the Balkan War in 1912, which was later restarted at the beginning of WWI.

Paralympian Lauren Steadman MBE recreates a photo from the Blue Cross charity's archives with her rescue dog Kira

“It was wonderful to have my beautiful dog Kira on set with me to create this image of a WWI nurse treating a wounded dog,” Steadman said.

"Kira is a rescue dog, so I have a huge appreciation for the work that Blue Cross and pet charities do.

"Happy birthday Blue Cross, and congratulations on your 125th year.”

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Originally known as ‘Our Dumb Friends League,’ the Blue Cross was founded in 1897 to help working horses in London.

Since then, the charity estimates that it has positively impacted 38 million lives. It plans to help more than 120,000 pets over the next three years through its services.

Iain Heaton, deputy CEO and CFO at Blue Cross, said: “We are delighted to share these recreated historic images with our supporters, beneficiaries, and the British public.

“Bill, David, Lauren, and our hard-working rehoming team have done a phenomenal job at demonstrating how we have supported both pets and people over the last 125 years, and we can’t wait to see people’s response.

Actor and presented David Harewood MBE recreates a scene of a WW1 soldier and his dog

"Our job is not done, and we are needed today more than ever. We hope that this campaign helps to drive further awareness and understanding of our cause.”