Skip to main content

Thomas Blake Great War Story

Video file

The video for this story about veterinarian Thomas Blake screened on Newshub on 20 April 2017.

New Zealand sent 40 or so veterinarians and hundreds of handlers to take care of the approximately 10,000 horses, which served in the First World War. Captain Thomas Blake was among the vets who looked after the horses; he received the Belgian Croix de Guerre for his efforts. The work was challenging — Blake and his fellow vets had to deal with war wounds and diseases suffered by the horses in the Middle East desert and later the mud and trenches of the Western Front. Despite the grim reality of his war work, Blake found time for a personal milestone: in August 1915, he married his English sweetheart Mabel Deane in a ceremony in the desert just outside Cairo.   

Primary Sources

Further Information



Produced and directed by Anna Cottrell, AC Productions for MediaWorks Newshub. Made with the support of NZ On Air. See full video credits here (pdf)

How to cite this page

Thomas Blake Great War Story, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated