Thomas giving Captain Charlie Fitzroy a goodbye kiss on his retirement, 2012

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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 Horses stories

Lord Strathcona’s Horse on the march, 1918

Beauty in desolation: Munnings and the First World War

In 1918, the artist Alfred Munnings was tasked with recording the wartime contribution of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and Forestry Corps. His paintings highlight the military role of horses, capturing their beauty in the war-affected landscapes of France.

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1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry in training, 1914

Cavalry on the Western Front

In the First World War, the cavalry could no longer deliver the decisive charges it had performed in the past. But it continued to carry out a variety of useful roles that contributed to British success.

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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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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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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.

explore this story

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