Special ceremony to remember war horses
A SPECIAL ceremony at Cockington on Saturday will remember the millions of horses and mules that were killed in the First World War.
It is estimated eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front and many were victims of shellfire while others died in appalling conditions. When the war broke out in 1914, the army had only 25,000 horses. By the end of the conflict, it had bought more than 460,000 horses and mules from across Britain and Ireland. This extraordinary picture shows a train packed with horses pulling out of Paignton railway station, bound for the bat- tlefields and watched by large crowds.
Saturday is Cockington War Horse Day, and at 2.30pm accounts from soldiers will be read by members of The Palace Theatre, and a procession will follow the horse and carriage into the village. A plaque will be unveiled outside The Rose Cottage Tea Rooms to pay tribute to the nobility, courage, unyielding loyalty and immeasurable contribution these animals made.
Purple poppy pin badges and wristbands will be sold in aid of The Household Cavalry Foundation; Mane Chance Horse Sanctuary; Brooke World Horse Welfare and The Royal Artillery Foundation.