Today seems quite a fitting day to post this.
This is Harry Bell, or Ding Dong as I knew my Great Grandfather, sitting on his horse during the early part of World War One.
Ding Dong had shipped out with the Cheshire Regiment soon after the outbreak of World War One. He had this photograph taken and printed on a post card which was sent home to his wife and two daughters.
The back of the card reads
My Dear Louie
How do you like this photo
Will Marjorie & Florence [?] it
Let me know
if you get it
safe & then I
will send one
Fond love to you
all X X X X X X X
Ding Dong was one of the lucky ones, he came home. I met him when I was very young, I still have a watch that he gave me, the war affected him quite badly in later life, but at least he came home to his family.
The horse, which we think was named Hercules, was less lucky he didn’t make it home, he was shot from under Ding Dong during a particularly nasty battle not long after this photograph was taken.
There is another letter from Ding Dong relating the demise of the horse and confirming its name, but I can’t find it at the moment.