Warhorse to Horsepower - Now Open

Our new Warhorse to Horsepower exhibition is now open.

7th April 2014

Our new Warhorse to Horsepower exhibition was opened last week with the appropriate pomp and circumstance, by Troopers Cribb and Sherring of the Wessex Yeomanry, our Trustee Dan Snow and one very well-behaved horse.

The new display examines the role of horses before, during and after the First World War, with the key emphasis on the British Army’s transition from horsed Cavalry to armoured vehicles and the reasons behind this major shift in land warfare.

In his opening speech Dan Snow said, “Warhorse to Horsepower tells one of the key stories of the First World War; it isn’t one of suffering and futility, but one of innovation. If you want to find out about the real stories behind the wonderful Warhorse fiction, come here to best Museum in the UK to hear them.”

Two years in the making, the exhibition starts just before the First World War, when mechanisation had already begun, and takes visitors all the way through to the start of the Second World War when armoured vehicles had largely replaced the horse at war. The display uses model horses to tell their story, as they are seen struggling through the various stages of war.

Exhibition Manager, Sarah Lambert said, “The design team opted for nine talking horses to act as the storytellers of the exhibition with the belief that they would inspire a more emotional response than traditional text panels. Although only newly opened, visitors have already been observed listening in to the horses’ chat and even occasionally stroking them.”

With the original vehicles and model horses, a host of interactive displays and dramatic imagery; it is hoped ‘Warhorse to Horsepower’ will have a multi-generational appeal and do justice to the experience of both men and horses between 1914 -1939.