WW1 war horse from Leicestershire remembered

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Media captionSongster was one of a handful of horses to return home after World War One

A Leicestershire regiment's horse, which served in World War One and is believed to have died at the age of 40 in 1940, has been remembered.

In 1914, Songster was drafted into the Leicestershire Yeomanry, which was sent to France at the start of the war.

The war horse, who returned home in 1919, became a local celebrity and was cared for by Sgt Major Harry Poole on his farm in Woodhouse Eaves.

About eight million mules and horses were killed in the conflict.

Image caption After World War One Songster was care for by war veteran Sgt Major Harry Poole at his Leicestershire farm

Songster, who was mostly ridden by Trooper Bert Main, of Loughborough, during the war, collapsed near the Leicestershire farm and later died in his stable.

The 40-year-old war horse was buried at the farm with the medal ribbons he had earned.

Image caption Songster's grave marker is on display at the Carillon War Memorial Museum in Loughborough

Mr Poole's nephew John Poole, from Shepshed, described Songster as "artful as a barrel load of monkey's because he was so crafty".

"He knew the trumpet calls when he was in France," he said.

"When they sounded the one for horses for water, off he'd trot to get some water and then he'd come back all on his own and stand there waiting for his nose bag.

"He got an uncanny knack that he could untie himself from his peg, wander off and then come back when he wanted to."

There is an archive on Songster at the War Memorial Museum in Loughborough.

Image caption Sculptures of horses mark where Songster is buried on the former farm in Charnwood Forest

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