Spe­cial cer­e­mony to re­mem­ber war horses

Herald Express - - News -

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.

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