In glorious weather, HRH The Princess Royal unveiled Romsey's tribute to the war horses of the First World War. The statue of a horse and its rider now adorns Romsey's War Memorial Park and is attracting many visitors.
The visitors have been photographing the statue, stroking it and leaving flowers on the plinth. Romsey has taken the statue to its heart.
Copies of the book can be bought from Romsey Town Hall, from Oasis Christian Centre in Church Street Romsey or from Romsey Tourist Information Centre, Church Street Romsey. You can buy it online from Romsey Local History Society. www.ltvas.org.uk
The statue stands on a plinth that rests on a concrete base. Within the concrete are embedded four horseshoes from the battlefields of Flanders, together with some nail fragments, a Remount Service cap badge and two of the terracotta war horses made at King John's House. (Click here to see pictures.)
The entrance to the park has been completely re-designed to make a suitable setting for the new statue.
Where the ground was dug up to make new paths, remains of hardcore, brick and other rubble was seen. These are remains of Romsey's Remount Camp which were used to make a suitable surface for the town's War Memorial Park back in 1920 when the park was created.
In World War I there was a massive Remount Camp on Pauncefoot Hill just outside Romsey. In little more than 3 years, it prepared 120,000 horses and mules for war service.
After the War the Remount Camp was completely demolished and largely forgotten, but hardcore from the camp was used to raise the ground level of the new War Memorial Park in Romsey.
Local people decided to commemorate the horses and men who served at the Remount Camp and in their memory a statue has been commissioned that will stand in the park. Local sculptor Amy Goodman designed and cast in bronze resin a statue of a warhorse and soldier. This is probably the only statue in the world commemorating horses in the service of war. 2015 marks the centenary of the opening of Romsey Remount Depot.
The cost of statue and alterations to the park to provide it with a suitable setting is in the region of £80,000. We have received about that sum, but a little more is needed for ongoing upkeep of the statue, so further donations will be welcomed.
If you would like to donate towards the project
you can send a cheque to The Town Clerk, Town Hall, Romsey, SO51 8YZ.
If you want to make a payment directly to our bank account, contact the Town Clerk for details. (01794-512837)
For further information contact Cllr Dorothy Baverstock on 01794-517552 or Phoebe Merrick on 01794-513751.
Romsey is in Hampshire in Southern England.
Website revised 9 July 2015