War Horse - Preface

War Horse - Preview Image

Castle Combe, in Wiltshire, has been called "The Prettiest Village in England."  It was the setting for some of the scenes of "War Horse" (the film).  Image of Castle Combe, a Wiltshire village, online courtesy Wiltshire Web.


...when praise and honours and medals are being lavished
among the armies of the victorious nations,
will a thought be spared, one wonders,
for the horse and the mule
in their tens and hundreds of thousands
... how indispensable they have been to victory,
how vital to the Allies' successful prosecution of the war.

The Horse and the War
Captain Sidney Galtrey


On the day Gavrilo Princep shot Franz Ferdinand, the Archduke of Austria, people in Britain were going about their daily business.  It was a sad event, to be sure, but who could fault anyone in the UK for paying scant attention to the death of another country's heir-to-the-throne?
Two months later, in August of 1914, the lads of Devonshire - like those in other parts of the country - were volunteering for war.  It turns out the death of Franz Ferdinand mattered, after all, even to Brits.

Would-be fighters - many of them barely out of their teens - were about to endure extraordinary hardship.  Stunning numbers of people - and animals - would die.

Who were these British men (young and old)?  What were they fighting for?  What were they hoping to accomplish? 


ISSUES and QUESTIONS to PONDER:  In 1914, an eighteen-year-old  - Gavrilo Princip - shot and killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire.  That event was a precipitating cause of World War One.  How likely would it be, today, that such an action - against a head of state - would plunge the world into a major war that could kill millions of people? 

If your answer is "not likely," why would the result - between then and now - be so different? 


Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D.

Original Release Date:  December, 2011
Updated Daily During the First Month

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