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Horses killed in bombing raid


Dead horses litter the ground after a German bombing raid in France, circa 1917-18.

In a similar incident in August 1917, the 2nd Battalion, The Wellington Regiment, and 1st Machine Gun Company lost many of their horses when their transport lines were bombed. The resulting carnage is described in The Wellington Regiment (pp. 204–5):

[A]t about 2 o’clock in the morning, of the 11th August, bombs were dropped on the transport lines of the 2nd Battalion, and the First Machine-Gun Company, whose animals were together near Kortepyp. The effect was disastrous. Thirty-three horses and mules of the 2nd Battalion were either killed or had to be shot. Four other animals were wounded, including Colonel Cunningham's charger [Queenie] which was wounded in the chest. In addition, the 1st Machine-Gun Company lost over fifty animals. … The spread of the exploding bombs was very low, and the animals that were killed, mostly had their legs cut off. After the noise of the explosion, there was only the long drawn-out groan from the unfortunate animals, and then the rattle of their chains and dull thuds as they fell. Among the horses lost, were the 2nd Battalion’s two chestnut draught horses of which it was so justly proud. The scene was a distressing one, and it was some days before the chaos was cleared up.


Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference no: 1/2-013714-G
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image

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Horses killed in bombing raid, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated