Horse memorial in Hampstead Garden Suburb
As readers of this website know I seek out memorials to animals. Those to horses of the First World War are widespread. They include the Melbourne memorial near the Shrine of Remembrance erected by the Purple Cross, a small charity less well known than the Blue Cross and RSPCA which also ministered to horses’ welfare at the time.
I recently re-visited St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb that hosts a memorial plaque to horses from 1926. Originally it accompanied a bronze statue of a horse standing alone sculpted by Charles Lutyens, the father of the architect of the church, Edwin, that was sadly stolen. A bronze relief of 1970 by Rosemary Proctor creates a different representation perhaps suggesting an antagonistic animal-human relationship.
I explore the meanings of animal war memorials in a chapter in a new book by Ryan Hediger that has just been published.