|General Jack Seely on Warrior, painted in 1918 |
by Sir Alfred Munnings
|British Cavalry by Sir Alfred Munnings|
There were more than 27,000 men serving in the Army Veterinary Corps and 19,000 in the Remount Department of the British Army preparing horses to be sent to war. Women, too, took their place in the receiving departments.
“First of all the horses had to be checked for all sorts of diseases and then broken so they could do the ordinary riding and pulling jobs,” says Scott. “You’d prepare them so they were ready to do their jobs.”
The contribution of the war horses has not been forgotten, says Scott, thanks largely, he says, to Michael Morpurgo’s book War Horse and the film and musical inspired by Morpurgo’s story about Joey, a young farm horse which is sold to the British army.
“Nothing gets anywhere near the contribution of people,” says Scott. “You needed manpower but, overwhelmingly, you needed horsepower.”