Although cavalry horses get the glory, the war could not have been won without the working horses and mules that were essential to bringing supplies to the front and to enable large-scale troop movements. The huge numbers of horses deployed by the British army (one estimate puts it at one million) required large numbers of men to handle them.
One such man was Thomas Piggin. He was an experienced horse-handler and quartermaster for the Derbyshire Yeomanry. He came from a large farming family, starting his working life on the family’s farm on Sinfin Moor before managing the Derby Racecourse. Although he was over 40 at the start of the War, and running the Alexandra Hotel, he volunteered to use his experience to benefit the war effort.