The real life stories of horses in war will be explored in a new exhibition, opening on 22 October at the National Army Museum in London.

The interactive exhibition, War Horse: Fact & Fiction, will use material from museum’s own collection, equestrian charity the Brooke, author Michael Murpurgo, the National Theatre and the Spielberg-directed film of Morpurgo’s book War Horse, due out on 13 January 2012.

Chief executive of the Brooke, Petra Ingram, said: “With the huge success of the book and play War Horse, and the impending release of the film, it’s timely to remember the thousands of horses, donkeys and mules who served gallantly in times of conflict.”

Following the end of World War I many horses from the British, American and Australian forces were sold into a life of labour in Egypt.

Founder of the Brooke, Dorothy Brooke, exposed their plight in a letter to The Morning Post (now Daily Telegraph) and her fundraising efforts led to the birth of the Brooke Hospital for Animals in Cairo in 1934.

National Army Museum director Janice Murray said: “The items generously being lent to us by the Brooke have been vital in helping us to tell of the treatment of the war horse beyond conflict and the legacy for working horses around the world today.”