The real Albert and his war horses

A real-life War Horse story about a young soldier called Albert and his wartime work with horses is to be unveiled for everyone to enjoy in the War Horse: Fact & Fiction exhibition.

The remarkable career of Londoner Albert Driscoll, and the heroic horses he served with during the First World War, scooped first place in our War Horse competition. This competition, inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s novel, was a joint partnership between the National Army Museum and the family history website Ancestry.co.uk. Entrants were asked to share their families’ own wartime experiences of working with horses and mules on farms or the front line.

Like Morpurgo’s novel, Albert’s story, submitted by his grandson Sandy Driscoll, is rich in heroism, adventure and features a poignant ending.

Sandy Driscoll shares the stories behind his grandfather’s personal effects.

Sandy Driscoll shares the wartime tales of his grandfather, Albert Driscoll.

Posted in Blog

4 Comments

  1. caroline weeks
    Posted 9 September 2012 at 6.57pm | Permalink

    The War horse written by Michael Morpurgo inspired by Albert Weeks and Wilf Ellis about a young boy called Albert and his horse called Joey and started off in a small Devon village. Albert was my husbands grandfather and Wilf was his uncle, a lot of the family still live in the small Devon village where it all began.. Caroline

  2. Peter Haldane
    Posted 9 February 2013 at 10.03am | Permalink

    Much has been written and broadcast about horses in WW1 and is most often illustrated by stories of the cavalry. However, the major users of horses were the artillery and transport. My grandfather lied about his age (he was 41 with 7 sons) when he enlisted as a shoeing smith with 18 Div Artillery at Colchester in 1915 (where he took his trade test) and went to France in July. He served with 73 Bde Royal Field Artillery right through the war at all the major battles on the Western Front rising to become Farrier Serjeant in late 1917. An RFA Brigade then had over three hundred horses, looked after by the serjeant and a corporal and four shoeing smiths.

  3. Christine Rose
    Posted 31 December 2013 at 10.07am | Permalink

    My father remembered staying with his uncle who owned a bakery in the Midlands. When the Army came round requestitioning horses they would all try to get the vans out as he needed them for the business. One day the Army caught him out and they took his personal horse called Prancer???? The groom insisted on going as well. Neither horse not groom returned after the war. Prancer was said to have been chosen as the mount for the King when he next went over to France.

  4. Jane Martin
    Posted 20 November 2014 at 3.06pm | Permalink

    My grandfather William A Couchman was a Carman before the war and had his own horses, when the horses went he went too. He joined the Service Corps and ended up as a Driver in the RAMC (attached to the Middlesex Regt). First they went to France, and then turned round and went down to Marseilles to get a boat for Selonika, The first I heard about Selonika was when I started doing my family tree. He was left for dead by medics who found him in a ditch I don’t know where, it was only when the burial party arrived they found him barely breathing, he was the victim of a gas attack. He was in hospital for a long time and when he was repatriated to UK he was in another military hospital in England. He would never talk about the war. For the rest of his life his health was not good, but he continued working after the war and through the second world war, but died when I was nine.

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