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“If ever I were proud of my country it is now,” he wrote.
“They certainly wouldn’t have been able to get across the Sinai desert – it was the only way they could drag their guns.” Their journey echoes the plot of War Horse, the Michael Morpurgo novel that has been adapted into an award-winning play and film in which a teenager from Devon and his horse, Joey, are both put to use on the Western Front.
The real story began in 1911, when Ranald Laurie, a City broker and Martin Laurie’s great-grandfather, bought Cupid for his son as a present for his 15th birthday.
Cupid was absolutely terrified of this thing.” The battery was stationed near the Pyramids for months, ready to fend off an expected Turkish attack on the Suez Canal.
The horses began to be plagued by flies, and Cupid was issued with a specially-designed fly fringe to alleviate the worst of the “torment”.
“It is ripping to have all these horses and several of our own amongst them,” 2nd Lt Laurie wrote home in one of his first letters, on 22 December, detailing the bonds already forming between the men and their steeds.
“One splendid man, an ex-sailor, awful rough chap, always collects all the bread over from meals and gives it to his horses.
Vernon and Cupid spent “three idyllic years” hunting together in the countryside around the family’s farm in Essex.
Ranald, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, never expected the war, and in fact resigned his commission in February 1914, because he had reached his 40s.
“My grandfather and Cupid came across an enormous pile of forage in the middle of the street,” said Mr Laurie.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating