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Major Claude Weston and Billy


Major Claude Horace Weston (sitting), 1st Battalion, The Wellington Regiment, with his horse Billy in Egypt, February-March 1916. The two other soldiers in the picture are Billy’s groom and Weston’s batman (servant). In his wartime memoir, Three years with the New Zealanders (1918), Weston describes how he acquired Billy:

As a Company Commander, I was entitled to a horse, and I was rather concerned as to the animal I should be able to get. Seeing that the horse that Major Brunt, the first Commander of the Taranaki Company, had ridden was dead, I was, literally, in the air. Having a horse that you like makes a great difference, and I was very delighted when I was given the opportunity of trying Lieutenant-Colonel Malone’s second charger, a pony of about fourteen hands called Billy, that he brought from Taranaki. Billy and I agreed to be friends, and we remained so until I had to part with him on joining the 2nd Battalion in April, 1917. He is still the charger of the Taranaki Company, 1st Battalion.


Archives New Zealand
Reference: WA10/6/23, R3/2/8
Permission of Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

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Major Claude Weston and Billy, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated