Thank you to Andy Smerdon for getting in touch with me about his project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. Andy’s an amateur historian with a special interest in the use of equines – hosses and mules – in World War One. With his Tennessee Walking Horse Mack and mule Meg he’ll be tracing the route of the main trenches from Nieuwpoort on the Belgian coast through Ypres to the battlefield, via war cemeteries and memorials in late August 2013. The journey will take a fortnight, and the team will camp out much as the original cavalrymen and mule handlers did during the Great War. Andy’s dedication to authenticity is impressive: Meg’s pack saddle has a tree that dates from 1916, and both horses’ tack is historically correct, as is their rider’s uniform. Mack and Meg will even have their hoofs branded, like the original War Horses.
If you want to join them or to send a donation as they raise funds for the Royal British Legion and the Blue Cross, send me an email and I’ll put you through to Andy.