Celebrities

Meet the world's bravest horse

Meet the world's bravest horse

Getting on his high horse?

And rightly so. Warrior, a heroic warhorse from the First World War, has been awarded an "animal Victoria Cross" to mark the contribution made by millions of animals during the conflict. The bay thoroughbred gelding was posthumously given the PDSA Dickin Medal – the highest honour an animal can receive for serving in military conflict – at a ceremony at the Imperial War Museum yesterday.

What was Warrior's experience of the war?

Warrior arrived on the Western Front on 11 August 1914 and served on the front line for the duration of the war. Touted as "the horse the Germans couldn't kill", he endured machine gun attacks from the air, falling shells at the Battle of the Somme, got stuck in mud at Passchendaele and was twice trapped under the burning beams of his stables.

So he survived?

Warrior was injured but returned home to the Isle of Wight in 1918 where he lived with the Seely family until his death in 1941, aged 32. Jan McLoughlin, director general of the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, said Warrior was a "true survivor" and that his story "reflects the bravery and sacrifice that millions of animals displayed during the Great War".

A medal is the least they could do

Warrior is the 66th animal to receive the honour from the PDSA and the first to be awarded it for making a contribution to the First World War. Brough Scott, the horse-racing broadcaster and grandson of Warrior's rider General Jack Seely, accepted the medal on his behalf.

I understand he has quite a fan base

Warrior can count celebrities including Steven Spielberg and Sir Bruce Forsyth as some of his biggest supporters. Spielberg, who directed the Oscar-nominated War Horse, said: "Warrior is an extraordinary example of the resilience, strength and profound contribution that horses made to the Great War. Recognising him with an Honorary PDSA Dickin Medal is a fitting and poignant tribute not only to this remarkable animal but to all animals that served.

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