Napoleon on Marengo

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Marengo's makeover

We sent Napoleon's horse Marengo to the Natural History Museum to prepare him for display in Battle gallery. They were tasked with moving his skeleton from its original mount and repositioning him.

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Other ranks' cap badge, Royal Army Veterinary Corps, c1965

The Royal Army Veterinary Corps

This corps is responsible for the provision, training and care of animals in the British Army. With origins dating back to the 1790s, it has served in many campaigns, including the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Horses carrying ammunition, c1917

Horse power in the First World War

Without its hard-working horses, the Army could not have functioned during the First World War. Their contribution included carrying and pulling supplies, ammunition, artillery and even the wounded.

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Stables of The Buffs, 1914

Army horse care in the First World War

During the First World War, the Army relied on its horses to perform a wide range of jobs. The requisition, transportation and care of these animals was therefore of huge importance.

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10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars, 1812

Cavalry roles

Soldiers who fought on horseback were known as cavalry. Often dominating the battlefield, they performed a variety of roles, from smashing enemy formations to scouting and reconnoitring.

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The charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava, 1854

Death or glory: Famous cavalry charges

Cavalry charges might win a battle, but with poor leadership they could end in disaster. Many are remembered and celebrated because of the risk involved, whether successful or not.

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Goat mascot of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 1950s

Army mascots

Since the 18th century, regiments have kept animals as mascots to work with them, bring luck and strengthen morale.

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Crimean Tom, 1850s

Purrfect pals and pets for soldiers

Animals have always provided companionship to soldiers serving on the front lines.

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Marengo's skull

Marengo's makeover

We sent Napoleon's horse Marengo to the Natural History Museum to prepare him for display in the new galleries.

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Messenger pigeon, 1917

The British Army entrusted its secrets to birdbrains

During the First World War, the Army relied on pigeons to deliver important military information.

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Jimson the mule

Britain's most highly decorated ass

Jimson was the beloved mascot of 2nd Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment. He was 'awarded' medals for service in India and the Boer War.

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Thomas the cavalry horse, c2012

Horse heroes

Horses have played a vital role in supporting soldiers on and off the battlefield. Explore the stories of some of the most incredible horses in British military history.

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Explore Animals events

Call in the Cavalry
Exhibition

25 October 2018 - 9 June 2019

FREE

Call in the Cavalry

From flamboyant uniforms to fast horses, this exhibition looks at the shared heritage between the Hungarian and British hussars.

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The British Messenger Dog Service in the First World War
Talk

26 April 2019, 11.30am

FREE

The British Messenger Dog Service in the First World War

Emma Worrall will discuss the British Army's use of canines during the First World War.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."