Michael and Turtle to take part in First World War re-enactment


Rebecca Cole

A FORMER soldier is to re-enact an infamous battle of the First World War in memory of those who died.

Michael Cunningham, from Nantglyn, will be representing the third regiment of the King’s Own Hussars as one of 35 volunteers recreating the retreat from Mons to commemorate the centenary of the battle, which took place in August 1914.

The 66-year-old retired from the Queen’s Own Hussars in 1976, having served in the 3rd and 7th regiments, and was honoured to be asked to take part in the Warhorse Ride in honour of those who fought for king and country between 1914 and 1918.

His troop, made up of serving and retired officers, will re-enact the journey during a five day trip across the Continent.

“It is an exciting honour to be taking part,“ he said.

“There will be a representative from every regiment which made up the British Cavalry Division, including the doctors and vets sections, who displayed such enormous courage in the early stages of the war and particularly during the desperate retreat from Mons.”

Captain Cunningham, who is also a former High Sheriff of Clwyd, will be riding his beautiful black horse Turtle, who underwent special training to learn how to carry a rifle bucket and the rest of Michael’s kit which matches the gear worn and used by soldiers in the First World War.

“He really looks like a war horse,” Michael added proudly.

Together they have travelled to France where the 100-mile trek will take in sites of heroic cavalry action.

The mounted soldiers, who will also be wearing 1914 field service uniforms and carrying swords, lances and rifles, will be accompanied by a 1914 general service wagon pulled by a pair of draught horses.

They will live as their comrades did 100 years ago without any of the comforts we have grown accustomed to thanks to their bravery.

Mr Cunningham added: “It’s going to be really challenging for me as we’re going to be travelling over 20 miles every day on a horse, particularly at my age.

“And we’re going to try and do it as authentically as possible by sleeping under canvas, feeding ourselves in the field, and looking after our own horses.

“It will be an amazing way to remember what they went through.”

The ride is also raising funds for services charity, The Not Forgotten Association, and donations in support of Mr Cunningham’s adventure can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Cunningham10

See full story in the Free Press

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