Pupils learn about role of war horses

HISTORY: Pupils have taken a step back in time learning about the what the New Zealand soldiers and horses looked like in World War One. Pupil Abi Pooler, 5, with horse Kruze and Mounted Rifles Charitable Trust president Mark Appleton.

Greendale School pupils have taken a step back in time, seeing first hand what men and horses looked like during war.

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Charitable Trust president Mark Appleton and member Mike Donaldson took their horses to the school on Monday, in a bid to educate pupils on the sacrifice their ancestors made in World War 1 and World War 2.

Mr Appleton and Mr Donaldson arrived at the school dressed in World War 1 uniforms while their horses Tommy and Kruze wore 100-year-old saddles donated to the trust.

The presentation is a prelude to the Greendale Recreation Reserve Management Committee’s upcoming Anzac Day service.

As a tribute to those who served, members of the trust will ride horseback to the service.

Mr Appleton said it was important children were educated on what soldiers
went through during World
War 1 and World War 2.

But he said the presentation didn’t go into too much detail and was more of a “show and tell” to make them aware of what the soldiers looked like.

Children were shown the type of kits horses were required to wear in the war.

“Each horse would carry at least 150 rounds of ammunition. Then the rider would have another 100 rounds on them,” he said.

Mr Appleton said during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign horses often went for up to 72 hours without water before they fought in the battle.

“Only four came back to New Zealand out of 10,000 sent,” he said.

The trust was established in 2015 to mark the beginning of the World War 1 centenary to support people with post traumatic stress disorder.

The trust travels all over the country raising awareness.

Thirteen soldiers in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles were from Greendale and went to World War 1.

The Mounted Rifles were a troop taken from all over the country to fight in World War 1 and the beginning of World War 2.

To make a donation of historical equipment or funding to the trust go to http://nzmrct.com/campaigns/you-can-make-a-difference/

•The service will be held at the Greendale Memorial Gates at 2.30pm on Anzac Day.