Animals of the war remembered in Stalybridge

THE animals of war were commemorated at the Stalybridge Remembrance Day service.

War Horse Bilbo Baggins, ridden by Nigel Dix, outside Stalybridge Civic Hall

Nigel Dix, from Top Mossley, featured as an officer with the Cheshire Yeomanry, as he rode the cob Bilbo Baggins.

The pair were not allowed to take part in the parade for safety reasons, but created considerable interest outside Stalybridge Civic Hall.

Sue Day, owner of 23-year-old Bilbo Baggins, was keen to promote the purple poppy, an initiative from the charity Animal Aid to remember the animals of war.

She said: “On a day like this our sympathies are for the people who died serving their country.

“However, as many horses and mules died as soldiers in the First World War and a lot also in the Boer War.

“And the purple poppy commemorates equines that died in conflicts.”

This was the third year Nigel and Bilbo Baggins appeared at the Stalybridge Remembrance Day service.

He was a dispatch rider for the first two years, but this time came along as an officer with the Cheshire Yeomanry.

Sue, from Bottom Mossley, explained that Bilbo Baggins was a working horse that pulled narrow boats on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

In 2012 the horse pulled a boat the entire length of the Liverpool to Leeds Canal – something that hadn’t been done for 60 years.


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