Call Up for a War Pony?

This is a gem.

In 1914 a little British girl wrote to Lord Kitchener to beg him not to take her pony away to war. The letter has survived, along with photos of the pony, Betty.

“Dear good Lord Kitchener, We are writing for our pony which we are very afraid may be taken for your army! Please spare her! Daddy says she is going to be a mother early next year and is 17 years old – it would break our hearts to let her go. We have given two others and three of our family are now fighting for you in the Navy. Mother and all will do anything for you but do do please let us keep old Betty. Your troubled little Britishers, P.L. and Freda Hewlett.”

Luckily the War Office were able to reassure them that Betty didn’t qualify as a charger. The letters and photos will form part of an exhibit called Once Upon a Wartime at the Imperial War Museum North, and you can read the report here, at the Manchester Evening News site.

Published by Susanna Forrest

Author of The Age of the Horse: an Equine Journey Through Human History and If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of Equine Obsession.

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