W.W.I Horse ~ The role of horse in World War One

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Role Of Horse

Summer 1914

Deployment 1914

Mons 1914

Fighting Retreat

Elouges 1914

Road to Flanders

1st Battle of Ypres

Requisition 1915

Somme 1916

German East
Africa 1917

Beersheba 1917

Build up 1917

Cambria 1917

Damascus 1918

Armistice 1918

Capt. Trehane describes his horse 'Devil' "The first time we had to saddle him he put 2 men in hospital. He had come from South Africa & was handed over to an Indian cavalry regiment. 

My orderly called him  Shaitan (Devil) because the 1st thing he ever did was to bite you on the breeches

However over time a bond grew up between Capt. Trehane and Shaitan then during a forced march to cut off the retreating German forces Capt. Trehane said

It was a very different  Devil that stood besides me somewhere in Rufiji 4 months later. We had a hard day. A night without water or fodder, a long march round behind the German position to cut off the retreat. As the men where putting up a rope line  the C.O. came over  & spoke to me, "I've seen  Col. Stone Sir, He says you can't have water tonight", "Can't have water, that's preposterous" I said . But it wasn't that Col. Stone did not want to give water the truth was he did not have any. To water the horses was out of the question so when I went along to see Shaitan I took my water bottle. He  looked round when he heard me & gave me a low whiney. He just rubbed his nose against me. I took up my water bottle & while my orderly held up Shaitan's head I pulled out his lip & poured a little water into his mouth".

Later the following morning while out riding Capt. Trehane goes on to say "
Shaitan became very sluggish. I had to keep urging him on, a thing I never had to do before. I guessed he was feeling pretty rotten. Today I hated riding him. It was cruel and I knew how bravely he was trying. A few minutes before we were due to halt he suddenly stopped, turned off the path, walked a few paces & stood still. Then he sank. I only had time to slip off before he collapsed. We got his girth undone & pulled the saddle away and slipped the bit out of his mouth. And he lay there on his side, a poor worn shadow of what he used to be.

I rubbed his velvet muzzle gently with my knuckles, I pulled an ear that was cold and damp with sweat and I said goodbye to him. There was nothing else for it. I brushed aside a wisp of forelock and put my revolver to his temple and shot him"

Source 'True World War One Stories' Jon E Lewis.