On a blustery evening, purple poppies cascade over Berkshire to mark the start of the War Horse Memorial's appeal (Photo © Tracey Keogh)

Purple Poppy appeal to commemorate WW1 horses

Posted on centenarynews.com on 28 July 2018
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A million purple poppy petals have fallen from the skies of the UK, at an event recognising the service and sacrifice of horses, mules and donkeys in the First World War.

The poppies were dropped from a plane above the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club on July 28 to launch a new appeal raising money for military and equine charities, including the Household Cavalry Division.

The event, near Windsor, was organised as part of the War Horse Memorial project, which has already seen the unveiling of a national monument dedicated to the millions of  horses who never returned from the Great War.

Now the group have designated August 23 as the UK’s first National Purple Poppy Day.

Poppy the War Horse, inaugurated near Ascot racecourse, Berkshire, in June 2018 (Photo: Centenary News)

Susan Osborne, co-founder of the War Horse Memorial, explains: "The purple poppy was used in the past to signify the contribution made by animals in war, particularly horses."

"We have reintroduced the emblem but as this is the first year of the appeal we are limited to what we can do. Even so we have individuals and groups across the country who have taken the pin badges and are selling them to raise money for equine and military charities. Next year we hope to grow the Appeal so there will be wider distribution."

Supporters include Zara Tindall, the British equestrian, Olympic silver medallist, and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth. 

For details of how to contribute, visit the War Horse Memorial website.

Images courtesy of Tracey Keogh/The War Horse Memorial (purple poppy drop); Centenary News (Poppy the War Horse)

Posted by: CN Editorial Team