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Haigh   Views: 1000
Pony Plea from Haigh Cottage WW1 1914   Comments: 8
Photo: Keith   Item #: 29622  
Pony Plea from Haigh Cottage WW1 1914

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  A letter I came across on the internet as I trawled for information on Passchendaele where my great uncle died in 1917. It appears that a member of the War Council Sir Herbert Creedy had it amongst his collection of papers. I have made a transcript of the letter and included it in the photo I've submitted, essentially a plea to Lord Kitchener from members of the Hewlett family (presumably their children) who were living at Haigh Cottage - not to take their beloved pony Betty (aged 17) for the War effort.  

 [<< Back] 8 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by Maureen, 9th August 2017  
What a sad story..I wonder if their Betty was spared..it doesn't bear thinking about.

Comments by RON HUNT, 9th August 2017  
What a unique, fascinating letter. Thanks Keith for putting it on the site.

Comments by Veronica, 9th August 2017  
8 million horses,mules and donkeys died in the 1st WW. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front. Not only did they die from shellfire but in the atrocious weather conditions and the mud.

Comments by GW., 9th August 2017  
A heart rendering reminder of the sacrifices that were expected of our four legged friends and as in this case a much loved part of a family. Thanks Keith, and full respect to your Great Uncle.

Comments by Ellen, 9th August 2017  
How touching! I also hope Lord Kitchener reacted favoureably to this and that Betty was allowed to "become a mother" at home in Haigh!

Comments by AB, 10th August 2017  
Lathom Park was used as a horse Depot for the First world war and many returned there after the war and sold off
My grandfather was a hostler for the Leeds and Liverpool canal company and they acquired some of the Demobbed horses
My mother often related the difficulties her father had with them. Nervous,shell shocked and traumatised.just like the soldiers who returned

Comments by Graham Taylor, 10th August 2017  
Yes, Betty was saved. Lord Kitchener was suitably moved, and instructed: "No horses under 15 hands shall be requisitioned belonging to the British family Hewlett."

Comments by Graham Taylor, 10th August 2017  
Only mounts that were owned by officers were guaranteed to return to Britain. The fate of the rest of the Army’s horses and mules depended on their age and fitness. The healthiest and youngest animals were brought back to the UK, 25,000 remained in the British army while more than 60,000 were sold to farmers.
Horses and mules in the next class down were auctioned off to farmers on the continent for an average of £37. The oldest and most worn out horses were sent to the knacker’s yard for meat and fetched £19.
8 million horses of all sides died in WW1.

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