1st Edition

Soldiers and Their Horses Sense, Sentimentality and the Soldier-Horse Relationship in The Great War

By Jane Flynn Copyright 2020
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    The soldier-horse relationship was nurtured by The British Army because it made the soldier and his horse into an effective fighting unit. Soldiers and their Horses explores a complex relationship forged between horses and humans in extreme conditions. As both a social history of Britain in the early twentieth century and a history of the British Army, Soldiers and their Horses reconciles the hard pragmatism of war with the imaginative and emotional. By carefully overlapping the civilian and the military, by juxtaposing "sense" and "sentimentality," and by considering institutional policy alongside individual experience, the soldier and his horse are re-instated as co-participators in The Great War. Soldiers and their Horses provides a valuable contribution to current thinking about the role of horses in history.

    Introduction: "A Vague Smell of Heresy" 

    1. "The Most Vital Question of All": Military Reform and Social Change in Britain, 1899-1914

    2. "A Weapon in the Hands of the Allies": The Remount Service and the Army Veterinary Corps during The Great War

    3. "Humanity, Efficiency and Economy": Sympathetic Consideration and the Soldier-Horse Relationship, 1914-1918

    4. "For King and Country": How the Soldier-Horse Relationship was Portrayed during The Great War

    5. "Mortal Immortals": Remembering and Forgetting the Soldier-Horse Relationship, 1918-1939

    Conclusion: "Until the Slate is Washed Clean"


    Jane Flynn PhD is a teacher, historian, and writer with research interests in myth, memory, national identity, and the visual representation of work and war. Jane blogs on www.janeflynn-senseandsentimentality.com and hosts the Facebook group ‘Horses and History’. She brings a lifelong passion for horses to her work.

    "Flynn weaves together military requirements for horses, the development of an effective remount service, the linked questions of how to train horses and riders, the rise of Britain’s animal rights movement, problems of maintaining the feeding, health, and well being of the animals, and “wastage”. [...]A volume in the Routledge series “Studies in Cultural History”, Soldiers and their Horses is an excellent book both for those interested in the Great War and those with an interest in the military horse"

    -Jane Flynn, StrategyPage, The NYMAS Review