War Horse Memorial
The War Horse Memorial stands in Ascot for all to remember and not forget the horses, mules and donkeys, the role they played and the suffering they endured during WWl. The monument was unveiled on 8 June 2018. The Memorial and the Purple Poppy form a catalyst for fundraising campaigns to support military and equine charities.
The Memorial, a mare, has been named Poppy. The position of her head is at an angle to suggest that she is bowing in respect. Her silhouette is of a standing dignified horse but her bones and ribs are prominent, her middle tucked up and her muscles depleted caused by fatigue, lack of water and fodder. Her legs and joints are swollen due to harsh conditions. Her weight is carried to one side relieving the pain of the shrapnel wound on her shoulder and the cuts on her legs. She is turning her head to face the reflection area across from the roundabout where she stands.
Her coat is long and muddy and her tail and mane are cut in military style. Her hooves and pasterns are cracked, barbed wire and ration box nails lie in the mud at her feet. Branded on one foot is her identification number 1418.
Her ears are placed slightly backwards, not in anger but in thought. Her concerned forehead frowns slightly, her eyes lowered and mournful, a tear forming in one eye. Her nostrils are soft and small, her mouth sad and wrinkled due to harsh bit and pain.
It was said that if a horse/mule/donkey escaped dying of gunfire, artillery fire, bombs or gas attacks the likely possibility was that he would die of starvation, thirst, fatigue, disease, infections, exposure, or drown in the mud.
Buried at the foot of the Memorial are horse bones and in a brass shell case are placed WWl donated artifacts by Veterans' families, individuals and museums from around the world.
The Memorial was make in Scotland at Black Isle Bronze Nairn. The War Horse spent a day in Inverness before traveling south to Ascot.