War Horse Sketch Contest

War Horse on Facebook held a contest that collected entries until Aug. 11. Here are the rules:

“In War Horse, Captain Nicholls records his time in Devon and France by creating sketches of landscapes, battles and Joey. Take a page from Captain Nicholls’ sketchbook and create your own landscape or an illustration of a horse.

“All entries will be eligible for a chance to win a signed personalised copy of The War Horse Drawings, the hardback souvenir book featuring multi-award winning designer Rae Smith’s sketches for War Horse.

“About Rae Smith: The Olivier and OBIE award-winning British designer Rae Smith works regularly in a wide variety of styles and genres. This diversity has taken her from Slovenia to Broadway.”

The winner will be announced Aug. 31. Now you can vote on your favorite at:


This drawing comes from Joseph of Granite City.

War Horse drawing entry by artist identified as Joseph.

A real-life Joey and Albert duo

The Brisbane Times has an interesting story today — I think it’s now yesterday in Australia — about a man and his horse who went to Gallipoli together. Only one came home:

“Shot by snipers at Gallipoli in May 1915, Major-General Sir William Bridges was bleeding to death in a hospital ship when he reportedly asked that his beloved horse Sandy be sent back to Australia.”

Sandy was returned to Australia in 1918 — the only one to come home of the 6,100 horses sent to Gallipoli.


Week 16: “The Horse’s Mouth: Staging Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse'”

“The Horse’s Mouth,” by Mervyn Millar, recounts the development of “War Horse” for the stage. It might be too technical for the general reader, but it would be interesting for any fan of the book who’s curious about how it got turned into a play. Among other parts of the process, the director, playwright et al. visited farm horses in Devon, where Joey’s story begins, and the London home of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, where training still has much in common with its WWI practices.


King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery parade, London. Photo at Flickr from kenjonbro.

The book also is notable for what the various members of the theatrical team had to say about the war. Most admitted they didn’t know much about it when they began, beyond what they learned at school (which in the U.S. would be nothing).

And here’s Michael Morpurgo on what played into his inspiration to write the book in the first place:

“Most of us grow up with the First World War poets. Well, the fact is this: grand and wonderful as some of these poems are, most of them were written by officers, who came to the war with a certain class, a certain idea, a certain notion. The people I was talking to in (the Devon town of ) Iddesleigh were, if you like, the fighting men. People who came to the war straight, without verses, and thinking, and philosophy and literature to either help or hinder them: they came to it straight. And I had always wondered, with my listening to them, and my reading of history, how it was that these men did go over the top, because people told them to do it.”
And here’s Joey in the trailer for the Mirvish Productions’ “War Horse” in Toronto:

Move Him Into the Sun

Blogger G.M. Griffiths takes a dim view of “War Horse” (available on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 3:


The title of his blog comes from a Wilfred Owen poem.

Move him into the sun –
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.


Horses on the Menin Road, headed for Gheluvelt.