The village of Little London remembers the War Horse.
Pamber Parish Council, in Hampshire have unveiled Arthur the War Horse, a silhouette cut from 10mm steel plate, to commemorate not only the men and women who lost their lives in the Great War, but also, the horses, donkeys and mules that perished.
Local residents gathered at the Plough Inn, where the memorial is placed, to participate in the dedication ceremony conducted by Rev. John Lenton. The Act of Remembrance was delivered by John Delafield and Rhydian Vaughan ended the service with the Kohima Epitaph. David Lee played the Last Post and Reveille after two minutes silence. The Little London Brewery supplied a special beer for the day “War Horse”, from which profits, together with a collection, will go to the Purple Poppy Fund.
The Memorial was unveiled by Cliff Butler and two of his grandchildren Caleb & Ezra Butler-Grant. Cliff is the grandson of Private Arthur Pearce, who was a regular soldier in the Royal Berkshire Regiment at the onset of the Great War. The Regiment was part of the British Expeditionary Force sent over to the Western Front at the start of the War. Arthur was 27 when he was killed, possibly by a sniper, early in the conflict sometime around the Battle of Mons, and is buried at Ypres.
Before going to War, he lived with his wife and two daughters in one of the cottages in Little London opposite New Road. When he left for France, Arthur’s wife was pregnant with the son he never saw. Cliff and his family still live locally.
The silhouette was inspired by the War Horse Memorial in Ascot which is the first national monument dedicated exclusively to the millions of UK, Allied and Commonwealth horses, mules and donkeys lost during The Great War. It has been crafted from the original sketches made to produce Poppy the War Horse, with the full agreement and backing of the founders of the War Horse Memorial.
This silhouette, together with the national monument in Ascot, pay tribute to the nobility, courage, unyielding loyalty and immeasurable contribution these animals played in giving us the freedom of democracy we all enjoy today.