28 September 2009
The Brooke remembers the 'horse heroes'
The Brooke is urging the nation to give their messages of support and Remember the Horse Heroes past and present this week in celebration of World Animal Day on Sunday, October 4th 2009. This special remembrance coincides with the Brooke’s 75th anniversary and the charity is holding a tribute at the Animals in War Memorial in London to share the messages received for these often forgotten heroes.
During the First World War, horses, mules and donkeys served at the Front alongside human comrades. They stumbled through the terror of the battlefields, supplying food, water and ammunition – and they died in their thousands. Sadly, many of those that did survive were abandoned.
It is fitting that their silent sacrifice is remembered alongside the working horses and donkeys of today who still play a vital role in the daily battle for survival in poor communities across the developing world.
The dreadful plight of war horses inspired one British woman, Mrs Dorothy Brooke, who lived in Cairo in the 1930s. Mrs Brooke was appalled by the condition of the British war horses that had been abandoned and sold into hard labour. She wrote to The Morning Post and roused the emotions of the British public who responded with incredible generosity. Within three days her letter raised over £1,000. Mrs Brooke bought 5,000 old and exhausted animals and went on to set up the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital, which still operates – now as the Brooke – 75 years on.
To show your respect and to celebrate the important role of working horses, donkeys and mules please visit our special Remember the Horse Heroes website.
Gunner Lane, a serving Gunner with The Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, laid a wreath with her mule, Meg, to commemorate the start of the Brooke’s campaign.
"As a part of The Kings Troop I work closely with these magnificent animals on a daily basis and know just what loyal and hardworking companions they make. So many thousands have suffered and died, and millions of horses, donkeys and mules continue their loyal service across the world today. Let us all take a moment to remember horse heroes everywhere".
Petra Ingram, Chief Executive for the Brooke said, "We should all be so proud of our silent equine army who have served, suffered and died throughout our times of war. We are holding this special tribute to Remember the Horse Heroes past and present as even today the formidable tasks endured by those courageous war horses is mirrored in the gruelling work that horses, donkeys and mules do all over the developing world in support of the poor people and their families".