Monday 2 January 2012

The Horse the Germans Could Not Kill

Britain sent one million horses to the Western Front during the Great War.  Nine hundred thousand of them never returned.  One horse did return and lived to the ripe old age of 32.  Upon his death an article appeared in a newspaper called "The Horse the Germans Could Not Kill".  What was his name?  Warrior. 

General Jack Seely, born on the Isle of Wight, always loved horses.  He was matched up with Warrior and used to ride him on the island's beaches, unperturbed by the giant waves from the sea.  When World War I started, Warrior was chosen for battle and headed over to the Continent.  He would charge the advancing army, unfazed by bullets, bombs and shells, even as his fellow horses were falling on either side.  He survived major battles at Ypres, the Somme and Passchendaele.  Hailed as a hero, he was often painted by the war artist Alfred Munnings. 

In 1934, General Jack Seely wrote a book about his beloved horse called My Horse Warrior.  A London stage production called War Horse was mounted and over one million tickets have been sold.  Steven Spielberg has produced a movie called" War Horse" loosely based on the story.  We all know about the humans on the battefront, but few of us know about the horses.  Thank you, Warrior, for your fearless sacrifice!

Painting of Warrior & General Jack Seely courtesy


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