A TOP horse racing commentator and author is galloping to the aid of a £70,000 appeal for a memorial to horses killed in the First World War.
Brough Scott, former face of Channel 4 Racing, will give a talk on his grandafther’s wartime mount, Warrio,r at the latest event for the Romsey War Horse Project, which aims to erect a statue in the town in tribute to the 120,000 horses and mules trained for the front at the Remount Camp on Pauncefoot Hill.
Brough has a family connection with the town as his grandfather, General Jack Seely, Secretary of State for War from June, 1912 to March, 1914, officially opened Romsey War Memorial Park in 1921 and it is the park which will be the site of the life-size bronze resin statue of a horse and trooper.
Brough, a former jockey, has written his grandfather’s biography – Galloper Jack: The Remarkable Story of the Man who Rode a Real War Horse, which was published in 2012 – and also penned the foreword to the 2011 reprint of General Seely’s book Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse.
During the war, General Seely commanded the Canadian cavalry, who dubbed Warrior the “horse that the Germans can’t kill” after many narrow escapes before the enemy guns.
Warrior carried the general through the battles of Ypres and the Somme and he said of his faithful charger: “Warrior was my passport wherever I went. As I rode along, whether it were the rest billets, in reserve, approaching the line, or in the midst of battle, men would say, not ‘Here comes the General’, but ‘Here’s old Warrior’.”
Warrior was born in 1908 on the Isle of Wight and lived until 1941. When he died, his obituary appeared in the Evening Standard.
Brough’s talk, Warrior’s War, takes place at the Crosfield Hall on Friday, March 7 at 7pm (doors open at 6.15pm). Tickets cost £8, in advance from Romsey Tourist Information Office and £10 on the night.
Event organiser, Sarah Saunders-Davies, said: “I am thrilled he’s coming to talk about his famous grandfather and his equally famous horse. Brough will be signing and selling copies of his book at the talk and there will also be a raffle drawn at the end of the evening.”
Opened in 1915, the remount camp, which included a veterinary hospital,was home to more than 2,100 men who trained the animals for the battlefield.
Test Valley-based sculptor, Amy Goodman, has been commissioned to make the memorial which the War Horse project hope to unveil in 2015 to mark the centenary of the remount camp.