Famous painting of war horse ‘the Germans couldn’t kill’ brought to life

  • Brough Scott has recreated a famous war painting of Major General Jack Seely aboard the great bay thoroughbred Warrior to celebrate the launch of a museum’s latest exhibition.

    The racing journalist and presenter, 75, is the grandson of Major General Seely. Brough sat on Atticus, the horse of the current major general of the British Army’s Household Division, Benjamin Bathurst, outside the National Army museum on 30 November to mark the opening of the exhibition; Alfred Munnings: War Artist 1918.

    Major General Seely, a British MP and friend of Winston Churchill who commanded the Canadian Calvary Brigade during the First World War, bred Warrior in the Isle of Wight from his mare Cinderella in 1908.

    He and Warrior were among the first subjects of Alfred Munnings, who was commissioned to paint the Canadian expeditionary force on the Western Front in 1918. Warrior, who featured on the cover of H&H’s First World War centenary special edition on 8 November, was known as “the horse the Germans couldn’t kill”. He was ridden by Major General Seely through many of the bloodiest battlefields of the war, including the battles of the Somme and Ypres, and returned with the major general to the Isle of Wight in 1918, where he lived until he was 33.

    The exhibition will feature more than 40 paintings created by British artist Alfred Munnings during the final year of the First World War and is the first time the paintings have been displayed together in England in 100 years. Mr Munnings’ famed portfolio of wartime art was last seen in the UK in its entirety at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919, where he later served as president from 1944 to 1949.

    The exhibition is open to the public and will run until 3 March 2019. Tickets are free to serving army soldiers and under-16s, and cost £6 for adults and £5 for veterans and concessions. Bookings can be made in advance at nam.ac.uk/munnings.

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