THE BRITISH ARMY USED OVER 1.2 MILLION HORSES 

YESTERDAY-WW1-WARHORSE.jpgThe First World War (1914-1918) saw millions of men and horses bogged down in horrific conditions in the muddy trenches of Belgium and Northern France. As Britain’s men were called away to war - including staff from The Home of Rest for Horses - and as shortages began to bite, The Home faced a threefold problem.


Demand rose for our services as healthier animals were requisitioned for the war effort, leaving only older and sicker horses to cope with regular work. The men working the horses - and indeed caring for them at The Home of Rest - were often older or less experienced, and prices rose dramatically as supplies grew scarce. On top of this, the demands of war pulled financial support in other directions.


In spite of all these difficulties, the War drove the charity to new heights. Annual donations were made to RSPCA appeals in support of Russian Army Horses.YESTERDAY-WW1-AMB2.jpg In 1914, the Committee made an inspired gift to the Army Veterinary Service of the first ever motorised horse ambulance. This proved so useful in moving injured horses from the battlefields for treatment that 13 more were procured and, by the end of the war, over 2 million horses had been successfully treated and returned to duty.

The War had a major impact on everyday life, making it harder to get supplies as labour grew scarce and transport more difficult.

 

“Oats before the War cost 23s were now 39s, hay had been £3 19s was now £5 15s and other articles were affected in proportion, all of which entailed a much heavier strain on the resources of the Society in maintaining its work for suffering horses.”

 

 

 

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 Letter of thanks received in reponse to our supporters amazing donation of the innovative horse ambulance.

WAR OFFICE,
WHITEHALL., S.W. 

Dear Sir,

I am writing to let you know how very pleased I was with the Motor Horse-Ambulance which the subscribers to The Home of Rest for Horses have presented to the War Office, for the use of sick and wounded horses at the front, and which you were so kind as to show me on the 10th inst. It will prove of the greatest value to the Veterinary Hospital Overseas to which it has been sent, and I would like you to express my gratitude to all the subscribers for their generous and appropriate gift. 

Yours faithfully

(Signed) R. PRINGLE,
Major-General,
Director-General, Army Veterinary Service.

 


At the end of the Great War we began taking in the first of our military veterans.  The tradition continues to this day. With the generosity of our supporters we are able to provide a dignified retirement to some of the horses who have given so much for our country.