The War Horse at Mottistone

I re-watched “War Horse” a few nights ago, that wonderful film from the book by Michael Morpurgo that tells the tale of a brave horse and his human friend who both come through the horrors of the First World War after many trials and are finally united. **  As always, it reminded me of the story’s links with a real-life war horse and the man who bred and raised him on the Isle of Wight.    

Portrait of General Jack Seely on Warrior by Sir Alfred Munnings

The original horse that served in the war was called Warrior and his story was told in 1934 by General Jack Seely in a book called My Horse Warrior, re-published in 2011, then again in paperback in 2013 and 2014.  It tells the story of Warrior from his birth in a field on the family’s estate on the Isle of Wight and how, due to a combination of character and some twists of fate, he was able to survive Ypres, The Somme and Passchendaele in a war in which over 8 million horses, donkeys and mules died.  Warrior lived to the age of 33 and died at his home in Mottistone, Isle of Wight, in 1941 and in 2014 his bravery was rewarded posthumously with an honorary PDSA Dickin Medal (the VC for animals).

From a happy life in the fields of the estate on the Isle of Wight, Warrior was sent to war along with his owner, where as a result of his being able to survive so much, he gained a reputation for bravery under fire and was adopted as his formation’s mascot, as well as earning the nickname ‘the horse the Germans couldn’t kill’ – this from the Canadian cavalrymen he led.

His owner was no less brave. On the Western Front he was involved in some of the defining moments of the First World War and led one of the last cavalry charges in history at the Battle of Moreuil Wood, on his faithful horse Warrior, in March 1918.

And so we come to Mottistone Manor, first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and today a National Trust property.  The Manor as it stands today however, was created during the 15th and 16th centuries but the gardens we stroll in came much later.  These were laid out in the 1960’s, to the original design, with seasonal plantings which are a delight even in winter.

Mottistone Manor

Mottistone Manor was bought in 1861 by Charles Seely who was a Liberal politician and philanthropist who had made his fortune in the Industrial Revolution, and the Seely who owned Warrior was General Jack Seeley, the First Baron Mottistone, known to all as ‘Galloper’ Jack. 

Below are a few images of the gardens from last time I visited.   

Of course, Warrior never wandered through these gardens but whenever I visit, I think about that horse and all the other animals that died in The Great War.  For me, Mottistone is a very fitting place to remember the brave Warrior.

The War Horse is now available on the National Theatre’s new streaming service National Theatre at Home. The iconic and multi-award-winning production of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpugo, is available on demand for the first time since its premiere 13 years ago.

** The film was directed by Stephen Spielberg from a script by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis and starred Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson, Jeremy Irving, Peter Mullen, David Thewlis and Celine Buckens.

SIX WORD SATURDAY

I haven’t done this one for a long time but chancing my luck again. Linked to Debbie here .

This time of year I stop with the daily weeding and excessive tidying, allowing the last of the summer plants to spread themselves and have a few weeks of freedom before winter comes.

Free at Last to be Themselves.
Late summer blooms and winter berries.
I envy my friend his ducks.

Pull Up A Seat

It’s a nice seat with a view over some water I seem to remember, but would I want to sit on this icy bench? Maybe not.

Taken in one of the Nordic countries, one of those photographs that escaped the filing system!

 

XingfuMama asks that we create a post with a photo of places one sits or might sit, or art about sitting, and maybe a little background or story about the spot or a picture of the view. Add the tag, “Pull up a seat’ and link to your post in the comment section, either by writing a comment with your URL or by creating a pingback.

One Word Sunday – Open

Better late than never I hope to add to Debbie’s One Word Sunday, theme OPEN

Link to Debbie Here

Lens Artist Challenge 164: Look Up, Look Down.

Linked to Lens Artists at Sofia’s here

The challenge this week is to show how we look up and then look down when we are photographing. I’ve dug through my images and come up with these.

Can you see the tiny church on the mountain top? It’s almost in the centre of the image. This was taken from a Gondola coming down from Mt. Pilatus near Lucerne in Switzerland.

And now we are going up in the funicular to Mt. Floyen in Bergen

And now for something completely different. Look down on the beach here, this is Utah Beach in Normandy, France, scene of the D-Day Landings during World War ll. Up these cliffs the Allied soldiers had to climb, cut down by machine-gun fire from the entrenched enemy in concrete bunkers on the top of the cliffs, and this after having waded to the beach from the landing craft. No wonder so many thousands died on that day.

The second photograph is looking up at the effigy of a soldier hanging from the steeple of Sainte Mere Eglise in Normandy. On 5th June 1944 a US paratrooper of the American Airborne Landing forces was caught on the steeple as he descended. He feigned death to escape being shot at and was eventually taken down by an enemy soldier from whom he escaped. The village has kept the effigy (hanging just below the white flag) as a reminder of those days.

Linked to Lens Artists at Sofia’s here

Problems with MS, Edge & Bing

Regular readers of my blog will be aware that I’ve been having problems with signing in and commenting on other blogs, to the extent that I almost gave up on making comments. I tried to keep in touch, however, although it was a time-consuming ritual to ‘like’ and to comment as I had to sign in each time I made any comments or ticked a like box.

Now, I hope, I’ve found the answer. Since I got this new HP desktop which came with MS 365 and Win 10 already installed (perfect in every other way), I’ve been trying to find a way of getting rid of MS’s chosen browser Edge and Bing and re-installing Google Chrome. It doesn’t want me to do this and stops me every time. However, I’ve found that if I install Google manually and stay with it for a period of time, like staying in WP and not moving to another site, my problem disappears.

The Community Forum on HP and on Edge and Google all agree that MS and Edge is keeping out those who want to revert to Google. I can only hope that someone finds a permanent solution to what is an unfair use of Microsoft’s power to inflict it’s chosen browser, Bing, on everyone who has the misfortune to buy a computer with Edge and Bing built in.

Meantime, I’ll continue to install Google manually each time before going into Word Press and this way, life may return to normal in some small way.