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ralphjd

Horses in the war

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ralphjd

Getting conflicting information when searching this subject, any pal put me on the right path ?  how many horses were sent/taken to the Great War from England and how many came back ? I know only one went home to Oz . Ralph

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clk

Hi Ralph,

 

I'm not sure if it's quite what you are looking for, but 'Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire during the Great War' (downloadable from here) has some info relating to horses, mules etc

 

Regards

Chris

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kenf48

Terry Reeves has outlined the policy on this earlier thread

 

In particular the official policy that no horses were repatriated from theatres other than the Western Front.

 

There are a few threads on this topic but global numbers are difficult to pin down.  Given the cruelty suffered by some left behind various charities intervened for the next decade but their efforts were entirely dependent on charitable donations.  The Blue Cross (then the Our Dumb Friends League) repatriated 4,000 horses from Belgium in the 1930s. The Brooke charity began its work in Egypt in 1934 shortly after Dorothy Brooke arrived in Cairo.

 

Coincidentally the Brooke Charity has just launched a campaign to remember the horses and mules https://www.thebrooke.org/news/brooke-launches-new-campaign-and-survey-results

they quote the figure of 62,000 returned.

 

Ken

 

 

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seaJane

There is a book about Dorothea Brooke and the War Horses of Cairo due out soon, author Grant Menzies.

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ralphjd

Thanks everybody for the input. Ralph

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Ron Clifton

Hello Ralph

 

According to my calculations, based on War Establishments, the original six-division BEF of 1914 would have required 55,000 horses. The first volume of the Official History records that 120,000 horses were required, but this would have included both the additional horses required by the BEF, over and above the peace establishment, and the horses required for the TF.

 

Ron

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ralphjd

Thanks Ron, have we any idea how many were requisitioned during the the period of the war ? 

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Ron Clifton

Only in the incomplete information in Statistics, I think, but after the initial mobilisation I believe that most horses were bought outright rather than requisitioned.

 

Ron

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