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beersheba

the military mule in the british and indian army

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As a member of the British mule society (yes there is such a society) i was delighted to hear that we ,as a society where going to be involved in bring out this new work on a very interesting but often over looked topic.

The book is an anthology in 3 parts. Part 1 is an over view of the mule in service with the British and Indian army from the early years of the 19th Century to the close of the Honk Kong based R.C.T. unit in the 70's and deals with all the wars in between,but looks at both the Great war and the campains of WW2 in particular.

Part 2 deals with the Indian army Transport mules and part 3 is about the Mountain Artillery,again covering all periods,but with interest with regards this sites topics.

The title seems a little dry and academic,but the book is well writen by 3 seperate authors all of whom had past dealings with Mules,and the subjects talked about.It is full of wonderfull accounts of these great animals and their devoted handlers as well as much in the way of usefull infomation about numbers used,sizes, dates and other figures.Moving tales from both WW1 and 2 fill the first part,and i am currently working thru parts 2&3.

Horses are also mentioned in the book,for example the scottish T.A. unit that managed to hide its new foal at galipolli from the unit Vet ..or Maggie the pride of the transport lines..

For those of you with an interest in the welfare of these animals,or the less "glamorous" side of warfare then this book might be for you.At a price of £24 it is published by D.P & G military publishers isbn number 1-905265-87-5 OR contact me and i'll get you a copy sent from the B.M.S. stock if you have any problems getting it.. If you ever wanted to see how they parachuted a mule from a dakota get this book it will show you how....

Regards Andy @history horse

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Andy,

The book sounds good. Very interested in part 2 though.

Oh well it goes to the top of my must buy list. Might just forego the choccies at Easter and get myself a book instead :P

Cheers

Ali

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Added to my "wants" list - thanks for the pointer Andy.

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let me know if you cant get it easy..if you follow the links on my site to the B.M.S. contact John Rolling and he has them in stock...See you soon then Ali.???

Andy

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Andy, have tried contacting BMS but my e-mails get biffed back as undeliverable. Any suggestions?

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See you soon then Ali.???

Andy,

Oh yes very soon ;)

Let me know how you get on squirrel as I will order mine soonish

Cheers

Ali

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I once did a mule handling course in the mountains of Northern California courtesy of the USMC with a view to using them in the mountains of Afghanistan...We even had one that had his wings after been para dropped a Scout Sniper Mule....Excellent course beautiful scenery Pickle Meadows in the Snow.

Went back to Dartmoor to test on UK Mules the equipment was Circa WW1 and kept breaking nothing ever came of it...Pity

Ady :D

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last i heard local mules where still in use in Afghanistan..just like in the film "man who would be king" great line"how to divide 5 afghan's from 3 mules and have 2 englishmen left over"..

"Alfred the great" is the last mule "on the books" with the british army now at Melton Mowbrey.

Andy

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"Alfred the great" is the last mule "on the books" with the british army now at Melton Mowbrey.

Andy

Aye

Ive met those mules at Melton Mowbray we took em on Dartmoor loaded em with Mortar Kit and nearly killed them...Tough as old boots though!!

Ady

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Ordered the book last night after speaking to the Chairman.

For those wishing to order, the website is now up and running again I am told and orders can placed there.

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Oh good will be ordering mine next week so hopefully I will be able to order it online.

Thanks for that Squirrel.

Cheers

Ali

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The book turned up in the post today. Nicely produced, full of detail, quotes, references, information, diagrams and photos. Looking forward to reading it.

The publisher's catalogue, D & PG Military Publishers, may be worth a look at as well with some of the manuals they have; ASC 1909 and 1914 manuals for instance.

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Andy - last remembrance day I chatted with an elderly gentleman across the road who was sweeping his leaves. He happened to mention that he had spent the whole of WWII overseas. When asked why, he explained that he used to be a jockey (Market Rasen is nearby) and at the start of the war he went to the Middle East buying up mules for the Allies. He was part of a very small team, receiving regular installments of cash and shipping mules to various theatres of war, mainly Burma. I don't think he saw combat, but was away from home until after V.E. day. He had many memories of places in Iraq which are still hitting the headlines.

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About half way through the book and it is a very good "read". Print is a bit on the small side but I have found it to be absorbing so far.

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thought you'd like it squirrel..yes print is a little small..seems like thats the only way to keep the costs down for privete publishing..more words per page..

Dave yes they do turn up these old guys with great tales about mules..We'll be at duxford again this year for the Burma Star reunion..great stories to hear there..

Cheers Andy

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{ "Dave yes they do turn up these old guys with great tales about mules..We'll be at duxford again this year for the Burma Star reunion..great stories to hear there.."

Cheers Andy}

Andy, can you tell me please what day is the above taking place at Duxford ?

Regards Cliff.

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When I was in Cyprus (1999-2004) I vaguely remember reading something to the effect that the only Cypriots to take part as a unit in WWI were mule drivers. But it may have been WWII. Don't know whether your book can confirm this and give any more details.

cheers Martin B

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When I was in Cyprus (1999-2004) I vaguely remember reading something to the effect that the only Cypriots to take part as a unit in WWI were mule drivers. But it may have been WWII. Don't know whether your book can confirm this and give any more details.

cheers Martin B

Martin there were numerous Cypriots that took place in the Second World War II as mule drivers, not all of them though. I have an uncle that got killed in War II in Italy and another one that was all over the Middle East. I am actually trying to find out where Cypriots were during the Great War. I remember quite a few of them in parades during Armistice Day.

Yannis

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Martin there were numerous Cypriots that took place in the Second World War II as mule drivers, not all of them though. I have an uncle that got killed in War II in Italy and another one that was all over the Middle East. I am actually trying to find out where Cypriots were during the Great War. I remember quite a few of them in parades during Armistice Day.

Yannis

Ya sas, Yannis. Indeed many Cypriots took part as individuals in WWII, not least being former president Glafkos Clerides. But I am not sure about the Great War, given that Cyprus was officially still under Turkish sovereignty, though British administered, until Turkey entered the war at the end of 1914, when it was annexed. But IIRC the only wholly Cypriot unit to serve on the allied side was of muleteers, and I don't known which war it was.

cheers Martin B

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In fact it was called the Macedonian Mule Corps and was a mixture of Cypriots and mainland Greeks. The Corps was raised in 1916 and disbanded in 1919. Fortunately, Major JPB Condon, Royal Irish Rangers, who was stationed in Cyprus in 1979, took an interest in this unit and donated his notes to the National Archive. These include a background to the raising of the Corps, and interviews with six of the surviving muleteers from WW1, including some photographs. This document can be found in WO 405. There are also hand written medal rolls for these men, which include the home adresses for the Cypriot muleteers. Major Condon also notes that a unit called "Cyprus Mule Drivers" served with the British Army in Egypt, in the Suakin area 1885-85, and received the Egypt medal with two clasps.

Terry Reeves

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Very useful book, there is a lot of neglect of this side of logistics.

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Just a question to the mule specialists does anyone know where the 45th Mule corp serve WW1 ?, I think that they were Indian Army.

best regards,

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