Search

Remembering the war horses from Norfolk that were killed in the First World War

PUBLISHED: 16:35 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 09 November 2018

The North Burlingham stables which was used as a horse hospital during the First World War. Picture: Valerie Knights/Nick Butcher

The North Burlingham stables which was used as a horse hospital during the First World War. Picture: Valerie Knights/Nick Butcher

Archant © 2012

A century on from the end of the First World War, animals continue to be innocent victims of conflict around the world.

That is the message from animal charity SPANA, as it urges those to remember the forgotten victims this Remembrance Sunday of the many millions of animals that lost their lives in the Great War.

Used by all sides in the conflict, around 16m animals were put into service including one million mules and horses employed by Britain alone.

Some of those horses were cared for in Norfolk - at The White House in North Burlingham, which was then called Beighton House.

Around 20 horses were looked after at a time at The White House, most of whom were sent straight back to the front as soon as they were fit.

Many of the horses were requisitioned from the area which had a profound effect on farming, and prices of horses shot up after the war as so little would return home.

Valerie Knights MBE lived with her family on and off in the house since 1940. Her father was a cavalryman and captain with the Royal Norfolk Regiment and experienced first-hand the close partnership between a man and his horse.

Speaking to the EDP in 2012, she said: “It was called a hospital for sick horses.

“They were brought here from France to recover and be looked after. Still, one had to be put down and died and was buried in the meadow.”

Even as military forces have increasingly mechanised, animals have continued to serve in great numbers.

In the Second World War, Britain had 200,000 animals in service, while the German army lost more than 179,000 horses on the Eastern Front alone in just two months.

A SPANA spokesman said: “It is a sad reality that animals suffer appallingly during times of war.

“It is also a reality that many communities impacted by war are heavily reliant on working animals and struggle with the loss of these animals in the aftermath of conflict as they rebuild infrastructure and lives.

Other News

10 minutes ago

Business owners have warned that people are too scared to go onto a town centre street amid fears of a rise in violence at weekends.

13 minutes ago

American Football used cheerleaders, cricket turned to T20, and football had the short-lived Golden Goal.

They are two coastal towns that have evolved in recent years into trendy haunts throughout the summer months.

15:32

With your help, thousands of people across the county will benefit from a campaign aimed at keeping the elderly and vulnerable warm and cared for this winter.

Most Read

10 minutes ago

Business owners have warned that people are too scared to go onto a town centre street amid fears of a rise in violence at weekends.

Read more
Twitter
Yesterday, 12:33

A road rage incident in Great Yarmouth saw a man leave his car and try and get into another driver’s car when it was stopped at traffic lights.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:17

A woman who was wanted by police on recall to prison has been found in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Norfolk Police

A woman thought she was going to die as her ex-partner stamped on her head twice and broke her nose, a court heard.

Read more
Norwich Crown Court
Yesterday, 17:24

Emergency services were called to Great Yarmouth town centre after a disused lamp post caught fire on Monday afternoon.

Read more
Rescue Service

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 5°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy