Saturday, 8 November 2014

Remembering the Equine Heroes of war

So this is a little surprise portrait I've been working on over the last week, I had an idea that I wanted to make my own small tribute to the thousands of horses who lost their lives while serving during the First World War. This year, 2014, is the 100th anniversary, the centenary, of Britain first entering the bloody conflict that was to see so much suffering.

Here is the finished piece:

I hoped to illustrate how horses served their masters, their determination to work, their loyalty and affection all invaluable in the hard times of conflict despite shocking conditions. These beautiful animals both fought and fell with the many millions of brave men who served their countries, transporting food and medicinal supplies to the front, pulling artillery, carrying the wounded and dying to hospital and to mount cavalry charges. Of course, in the country the Land Army were responsible for keeping the country fed by tending the land and a stirling job they did too. The soaring demand for horses was merciless with families having to give up their beloved pets to the war effort.

It would be the last time the horse would be used on such a mass scale in modern warfare.

Then there are the poppies, deliberately uncoloured to be portrayed as being both red and white, to signify remembrance in their own ways whichever be your preference. Regardless of what you think about war, the incredible bravery and courage shown by so many people and their animals should never ever be forgotten.

It is but a small tribute in a big world but I hope you like my contribution :)

We will remember them, lest we forget.

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