War Horse: The Real Story – to be shown on Channel 4

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Following the success of the play and now the film, War Horse has inspired a TV documentary.

War Horse: The Real Story will be broadcast on Channel 4 at 9pm on 4 March.

The documentary produced by Testimony Films covers the role and welfare of horses in World War I and the contrast with the present day use of horses in the military.

Almost a million horses fought on the Western Front during the war but only 60,000 returned to Britain.

The rest either died in the war or were sold in France as workhorses or for meat.

A TV crew filmed at the Horse Trust, based in Speen, Buckinghamshire, on 1 February.

The charity, then known as The Home of Rest for Horses, provided the first motorised horse ambulance to transport wounded horses from the front line in France during the Great War.

According to the charity’s 1916 Annual Report, in two years this ambulance traveled around 13,000 miles and carried in excess of 1,000 injured horses.

The first war horse that retired to The Home of Rest for Horses in 1919 was San Toy (pictured), who had served in both the Boer War and First World War.

He was joined by a number of other veterans, including Roger, a German cavalry horse.

Roger was found rider-less on the battlefield during the infamous battle of the Somme by a British Army officer who took him to safety and at the end of the war brought him back to England to retire to the Home of Rest.

“The hard work and sacrifice of horses in the Great War is all to easily forgotten, overshadowed by the tragic deaths of nearly a million men of Britain and her Empire on the Western Front,” said George Pagliero,

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk