Yesterday Joey stood alongside 18 horses from the household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Peckham, South London, to recreate an iconic image from 1915.
Local artist and social historian, Melissa Smith said: ‘This photograph is haunting in so many ways, but perhaps because we know that so many of the men and horses in it never came home it is especially poignant. I had dreamed of re-creating it because it’s such a powerful image, and it’s possible because the street remains virtually unchanged in the 100 years since it was taken. As an artist I am inspired and delighted by history, and I’m always looking for ways to bring it to life. Because of War Horse, we know that animals provide a useful key to help children understand and learn about WWI, and that gave me the idea to work with local schools and give children the opportunity to do Special WWI Centenary Arts Awards. I am especially interested in history that has been lost or unrecorded and in hearing the stories of people without privilege, so I linked this with author Stephen Bourne’s book ‘Black Poppies’, about Britain’s Black Community in WWI. The re-enactment is not about glorifying war, it is a way of remembering and discovering. It’s a powerful reminder of how much has changed since 1915.’