Here's an interesting collection of photos of a farrier in World War I that has come to light. In a key image, you see a squadron of 200 local men and their horses departing for war from Shepton Mallet, Somerset on 14 August 1914. And the first man on the first horse is the farrier.
|Farrier Ted Garland|
In his portrait at right, you can see the horseshoe insignia on his left sleeve.
There aren't many details available about Ted Garland. One thing, however, is that he either went to war on his horse or managed to get a fine gray cob assigned to him.
In the picture of the squadron heading to the train station to ship out, Ted and his gray are closest to the camera. Even though it is wearing a light open bridle, the horse seems to have two collars or straps around its neck; perhaps it was an artillery horse that would be pulling something. Several of the horses have neck straps.
|C Squadron of the North Somerset Yeomanry departed from Shepton Mallet by train on 14 August 1914. That's Ted Garland on his dappled gray, closest to the camera.|
It's interesting that there are only two photos of Ted Garland with horses and they are both dapple grays. Did he have a thing for grays or are they the same horse?
In 1916 Ted Garland was transferred to the Royal Field Artillery and became a farrier-sergeant. The Somerset Yeomanry was de-horsed in France and turned into an infantry unit.
|All images with this story, except the logo header, are courtesy of Somerset Heritage Service|
A number of images in the county's collection show Somerset farriers working with horses. The "C" on the wagon cover probably designates this equipment as belonging to C Squadron of the Somerset Yeomanry. Once again, you see the neck straps on these horses.
Ted Garland may be the farrier at far right in the shorter apron, indicating that he is the man who gets under the horse and does the shoeing.
Ted survived the war and afterwards returned to his home in West Pennard.
To learn more:
Ted Garland on his gray horse and his squadron, and even the dog, lining up to go to war have been captured in a beautiful painting by Martin Alford.
Many thanks to the Somerset Heritage Service and the Somerset Remembers project for the loan of these images and the insight into Ted's life. Click this link to see more photos of Ted on their website.
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