Friday, January 27, 2012

Canadian War Horses at the end of the Great War

Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" has rightfully drawn attention to those "long-nosed soldiers" who so faithfully served their warring masters on both sides of the conflict in World War One. The Germans disbanded their cavalry, but the British and Canadians persisted.
It was rare, after the war, for Canadian troopers to be able to ship their mounts home. Virtually all the Canadian chargers were sold to the Belgian government. S.G."Luke" Williams, in Stand to Your Horses noted on March 10th, 1919, the last of the Lord Strathcona's horses were turned over.
Williams later made a business trip to Europe in 1930, and saw teams of horses and mules that he opined had been in the Canadian Army: "Our horses were always easily distinguished from the Belgian horses." I am by no means a horseman myself, but I'd be interested to know how he could tell.

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