Service pays tribute to equines in WW1

  • More than 300 people and 60 horses paid tribute to the role equines played in World War One at a special service last week (Sunday 2 November).

    Ranging from Shetlands to hunters the horses — two driven the rest ridden — lined up at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern for the 10.30am service.

    During the service Charles Rodway, former divisional commander of the Household Cavalry read Ronald Duncan’s famous poem, The Horse.

    WW1 Horse Memorial ServicePrayers were said to remember the one million horses that served in World War One and pay tribute to their courage.

    In his address Sir Peter Luff, MP for mid Worcestershire said: “Horses have done more to change human history than any other animal.

    “However, I feel that not sufficient recognition has been given to the role they have played in conflicts over the years. Certainly without horses we could not have fought and won the first World War.”

    After the last post was played there was the traditional two minutes silence at 11am.

    At the end of the service the horses were led through the congregation by Rangoon, a 30-year-old former Household Cavalry horse now owned by Sally Fairfax-Harrison for the final salute taken by Andrew Grant, deputy Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire.

    WW1 Horse Memorial ServiceThe service was organised by Worcestershire County Council in partnership with the Worcestershire branch of the Countryside Alliance and Worcestershire Armed Forces Community Covenant.

    The service was hailed as the “only one of its kind in the country”.

    Cllr Lucy Hodgson said: “At a time where we commemorate the soldiers that lost their lives during the events of World War One the contribution played by animals in war 100 years ago is often forgotten.

    “Horses fulfilled many different roles during the war from moving ammunition and supplies to pulling artillery with some even ridden by soldiers in the frontline,” she added.

    “This event provides a stark reminder of the important role horses played contrasted against their role in our rural communities today.”

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