Tom the New Zealand War Horse unveiled.
A metal statue, a monument to recognise the contribution one soldier and his horse made in World War 1 – and a symbol for the service and sacrifice made by the people and their animals in and around Christchurch, New Zealand – has been unveiled.
In a moving ceremony led by the Reverand Jenni Carter at Washpen Falls, Windwistle, Canterbury, Tom, as the memorial is called, was dedicated to Poppy our War Horse and the service horses have made to the defence of New Zealand and worldwide.
It is also in memory of Thomas Hartnell Stone 1891-1973 who served during the First World War with his trusted horse from Egypt to Palestine. Tom was a farmer from Windwistle who stayed behind after all the horrors of the war came to an end. He mistakenly thought this would get him home faster than returning via the UK but left to him the sad job of having to shoot all the horses left behind, including his own before returning home to New Zealand. Tom the War Horse is mounted on the family farm at the start of a public walking track where walkers can take time to think about the sacrifice both man and horse have made during wars.
Mr Mark Appleton of the NZ Mounted Rifles Charitable Trust – Public attended the event with a troop dressed fittingly in WW1 uniforms.
Tom is the New Zealand memorial which now has an increasing presence and is a replica of Arthur who is installed on the wall of the Plough Inn, Little London in Hampshire. Rock Chesterman now of the New Zealand Defence Force coincidentally was the rural constable in Little London for many years and read out a special message from the UK on behalf of The War Horse Memorial Arthur is named after Arthur Pearce who was from little London and killed in action 23rd August 1914.
Lindy Drury whose idea it all was explains: “When I saw Arthur the Warhorse at The Plough in Litthe London., I felt a similar silhouette would be a fitting present for my brother Tom’s 70th Birthday in memory our grandfather. Thus began the long journey for Tom the Warhorse to his final resting place in Windwhistle. There were about 50 invited guests at this very moving ceremony. It opened with a procession of NZ Mounted Rifle members on their horses lead by a piper. Tom Stone’s great great grandhildren unveiled the memorial.
In keeping with the charitable ideals of The War Horse Memorial there was a collection for the NZ Mounted Rifles Trust for their work in assisting people with PTSD.”