It honours all animals used in war, including horses, dogs, dolphins, elephants, pigeons and even glow worms
A batch of pigeons was released as part of the unveiling ceremony on Wednesday.
The monument pays special tribute to the 60 animals awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal - the animals' equivalent of the Victoria Cross - since 1943.
They include 54 animals - 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, three horses and a cat - commended for their service in World War II. Among these heroes were:
The memorial, at Brook Gate, was designed by sculptor David Backhouse and carved from Portland stone, with bronze relief of different animals.
The inscription reads: "Animals In War. This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time.
"They had no choice."
Mr Backhouse told BBC News: "I don't think anyone can fail to be moved by the stories of pigeons that struggled home and dogs that came through under fire and the service some of the mules in particular gave, the amount of time they served.
"Whether you can call an animal a hero I don't know but they certainly did extraordinary work for their masters."
"My life was saved by the mules. The only way we could get the guns up to us was using them.
"There was no way we could do anything else," he said.
PDSA director general Marilyn Rydstrom said the memorial was "the nation's long-awaited and very welcome tribute" to the animals.
"It will also stand as a testament to the extraordinary bond that animals share with mankind in times of extreme adversity."
The PDSA - People's Dispensary for Sick Animals - is a charity providing free veterinary care for animals whose owners cannot afford private vets' fees.
Published: 2004/11/24 17:06:27 GMT
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