There From the Start. A book on the war horses and their carers.

There From the Start book advert

Exploring the emotional bond between horses and soldiers in World War One.

Every November 11th. I think of my grandfather Edwin who was a “driver” in the field artillery in World War One and spent four Novembers on the western front during his 42 months continuous service. I was so affected by the horrors he had to endure that I wrote a book about him and the horses he cared for.

My book There From the Start follows his exploits and explores the extraordinary relationship between the men and the war horses. The men were devoted to them, spending most of their working hours with them, and they helped sustain the men’s physical and mental well-being by being their confidants, friends and comrades.

They were in it together and just as the horses and mules did their utmost to help the troops the men reciprocated by doing all they could to ease their hardships. They fought and suffered together, faced the same dangers, often rested, slept and ate together and ultimately died together.

Edwin received serious injuries in early November 1918 when a bomb was dropped on him and his colleagues while they were feeding and grooming the horses a mile behind the front line. It caused carnage, killing and maiming many of the horses and men. I find it impossible to imagine the awful sounds, sights and smells he had to endure, made worse I’m sure by witnessing the suffering of his harmless equine comrades.

Read how the war horses and men survived the hardships and the bond between them.

ISBN: 978-1094956763 RRP. £10.99 150 pages 40 b&w photographs

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Author: John Brookland

John Brookland has been passionate about animals from an early age and has always been more concerned about their individual health and well-being than any scientific or zoological interest. During his long and varied career in animal welfare in the U.K. and worldwide, he has unfortunately witnessed most of the horrors of animal cruelty there is to see and has gained extensive insight into animal welfare issues. On leaving school he trained as an RSPCA clinic assistant in London and later was manager of one of their veterinary hospitals and an animal centre. He was Chief Inspector and manager of the Bahamas Humane Society in Nassau and spent time in Trinidad advising on a humane stray dog control service, before becoming a deputy manager and animal health inspector at Heathrow's Animal Quarantine Centre. He then travelled the world for a conservation group investigating the capture and transport of wildlife for the pet trade and was an honorary consultant to the IUCN and CITES. He is now retired and still travelling the world with his partner to view wildlife and wild places and writing a blog and books on animals.