This was a letter written by my Grandfather Major ME Barclay to the Editor of Horse and Hound in 1932
In this week’s issue of your most interesting paper I notice a letter written about an old charger who went through the Great War in France and Italy.
I have one who still does regular work. I use him for farming from the end of the hunting season throughout the summer and I also ride him at hound exercise and hunt hounds off him cubhunting until about the middle of October each season. It is wonderful how he loves the hounds and they him. – They jump all over him.
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We first got him from Remounts at Alexandria in March 1917 and he served with us the 12th (Yeomanry) Battalion of the Norfolk Regiment, a unit of the 74th Division in Palestine from April 1917 to May 1918 being present at the second battle of Gaza, Beersheba, Sheria, and Jerusalem amongst other engagements. In the actions of Beersheba and Sheria I rode him right up to the firing line.
In May 1918 we were sent to France and Sambo went with us serving there till the end of the War when I was lucky enough to buy him. He is a wonderful hunter over a blind country even though apparently a “foreigner” as he has a u brand on his quarter. I have also played polo on him. I believe him to be twenty years old.
It may be of interest some of your readers to know that the regimental pet of the battalion, a small Egyptian donkey is still alive and well. He is only fifteen years old. We picked him up as a foal when he was in May 1917 when he had been left by the Turks. Sambo and Abdul were always great comrades during the War and still are today.
Major ME Barclay
Brent Pelham – April 1932