This is Joe and his horse, Tommy. Together they served in the Cavalry of WW1 and together they survived.
Six weeks was the average life span of a horse and soldier in WW1. Both animals and humans suffered the same horrific injuries including shell shock. An estimated 8, 000, 000 horses died. This number does not include the large amount of mules and donkeys that also played their role.
In gratitude to his valiant equine companion Joe named his first-born son Thomas. Thomas went on to serve in WW2 and subsequently named his first-born son Thomas, my husband.
We had not intended calling our own son Thomas. He was born an extremely sick baby and immediately was taken into intensive care named only as ‘Twin 1’.
I was left on the ward with our daughter ‘Twin 2’.
Thomas means ‘the twin’, so it came as no surprise when my husband told me he had chosen a name for our son. He too would be Thomas; because to our family it means more than that. It means courage, strength, determination, resilience but above all gratitude.
The gratitude we owe to all servicemen and animals is huge.
This Sunday is the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, and at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th Month, We will remember them.