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

Forty thousand horses went to France with the British Army in August 1914.

When the British Expeditionary Force went to France they took their horses with them.

Sea ports had never seen anything like it as the population watched reluctant horses urged up gangways and persuaded into railed enclosures that had been knocked up on deck.

The whinnying, shouting and bustle was a scene unusual even at the busiest ports. Some of the unboxed horses died of heart attacks.

The arrival in France was no better. They then had to over come vertigo and terror as cranes grappled the slings around their bellies, hoisted them up from deep holds then swung them high above the deck. Finally lowering them quivering to the cob bled quay side.

One groom from the 1st Battalion Ox Bucks known only as Allan reported that he did not approve of wartime conditions, his horses, his pride and joy stowed in cramped accommodation deep below the water line.

During the voyage he had been determined to stay with them and no one  could persuade him to leave the airless hold lit by lanterns while he did what he could to reassure the animals while they neighed, stamped, sweated and scrabbled miserably to keep their footing while the ship rolled.

Upon arrival in France the cavalry soon took up its positions to cover the deployment of infantry in the region east of Mons.

The top right photo is dated Friday 21st August 1914 and shows part of Allenby's Cavalry Division 12 miles from Mons after they had travelled by rail to the neighbourhood of Maubeuge.

"1914 Days of Hope" Lynn McDonald & "I was there" magazine (1930).