Tuesday, 18 October 2011

World War One ‘A Fairly Terrible Time To Be A Horsey,’ Acknowledges Army Museum

A new exhibition at the National Army Museum is to formally acknowledge the less than respectful treatment often meted out to poor little ponies and horsies by nasty rough soldiers in World War One, finally highlighting one of the most calamitous events in equine history.

"Tragically, little material survives about the horses that did the pulling and the carrying,” curator Pip Dodd said, as staff dumped dozens of now-irrelevant human soldier mannequins into a skip. “We’ve turned the archives upside down, and it seems that not a single diary or poem written by a horse survives. Yet there’s tons of stuff written by the bastards who callously ordered their mass sacrifice in futile steeplechases across No Horse’s Land, fired literally millions of them into the German trenches and sent them to their deaths as ‘Fokker fodder fodder’ in the skies above France. And they didn’t even give them parachutes. Make no mistake: this was a horsey holocaust.”

Pull your own water, you bastards
Unlike their human masters, the equine conscripts were not even granted the luxury of a tot of rum before being sent into the killing fields between the lines.

“The soldiers knew perfectly well that there wasn’t a single blade of grass to eat in those fields, yet those brave horses never shirked their duty,” pointed out author Michael Morpurgo - whose moving story, ‘Giddy Up, War Horsey’, which finally brought the equine involvement in the Great War to the world’s attention, is being filmed by Steven Spielberg as ‘Oh, What A Lovely Horse’. "And, far from returning to A Land Fit For Horses, all the shell-shocked survivors found waiting for them back in Blighty was the same dead-end work in the glue and Kennomeat factories."

The shocking exhibition also reveals for the first time that, when the Light Brigade charged to their deaths during the Crimean War, they cruelly forced their horses to accompany them.

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