Feb 012012
 

Now that JISC MediaHub has been live for some time we thought it would be useful to highlight some of the best collections and materials that you can find and access in the service. To kick off this series of posts  we thought we’d take inspiration from the recently released BAFTA and Academy Award nominated film ‘War Horse’ and use JISC MediaHub to explore further how horses have been used in war.

‘War Horse’ has gained six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and was inspired by the original book by Michael Morpurgo  and  the acclaimed National Theatre stage show .

Take a look at the following images which show the stark reality of life for horses on the battlefront during the First World War:

Grand carnival in aid of sick and wounded horses (Imperial War Museum)

Grand carnival in aid of sick and wounded horses (Imperial War Museum)

Around 6 million horses served in World War One and a huge number of them died as a result.

In 1914 the RSPCA set up a fund for sick and wounded war horses to help alleviate suffering on the front line. 725,000 horses were treated in France alone.

Horse railway ambulance transport (Wellcome Library, London)

Horse railway ambulance transport (Wellcome Library, London)

Horses were used to perform essential tasks such as pulling ambulances and field guns, as well as carrying supplies and ammunition.

The use of horses at the front was vital as they could cope with the deep mud far more effectively than vehicles.

General Scenes on the Western Front during the First World War: Battle of Ypres, 1917 (The First World War Poetry Digital Archive)

General Scenes on the Western Front during the First World War: Battle of Ypres, 1917 (The First World War Poetry Digital Archive)

The ‘Animals in War’ memorial in London, dedicated in 2004, is inscribed:

Animals In War. This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time. They had no choice.

Watch ITN news footage of this event at: http://jiscmediahub.ac.uk/record/display/037-00008934

To find out more  just type ‘War Horse’ into the search box and browse through the results which contain material from the Imperial War Museum, the First World War Poetry Archive, Wellcome Images and many other collections.

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  2 Responses to “War Horse Highlights on JISC MediaHub”

  1. Thank you for featuring and describing the role horses and burros played in our history. This nation was founded and built on their backs. Many of our present wild horses are descendants of horses who were conscripted into service, shipped overseas, and left to die or became someone’s dinner after their courageous service in battle.

    Our current day wild horses need our voices, as they are once again being driven off their legal home ranges due to tracking, foreign investors/mineral and mining extraction, and the age-old resentment of ranchers feeling entitled to use use our public lands for livestock grazing at the expense of the wildlife and this federally protected animal.

    The 1971 Congress unanimously passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act which is meant to protect them, but it is not being followed (which is being litigated) and they need every voice we can give them. Please visit http://www.wildhorseeducation.org or http://www.wildhorsepreservation.org and/or http://humaneobserver.blogspot.com

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