Grantham writer’s poem chosen for war horse time capsule
A local writer and poet was an honoured guest at the War Horse memorial service of blessing last week after penning a poem about the role of horses in the First World War.
Val Odell, a member of the Grantham branch of the British Legion, was invited to the service, held at the Holy Trinity Parish and Garrison Church in Windsor, last Tuesday, after her poem, entitled ‘Goodbye old friend’, was chosen to be included in a time capsule, in the form of an old military shell.
The service was attended by almost 300 people from all corners of the UK including the hierarchy of the military services, families, friends and charity representatives. It was held to recognise the precious and treasured artefacts that have been donated by the families of veterans of World War One for the time capsule, which will be placed at the feet of the war horse monument in Ascot in an airtight chamber to be preserved for all time.
As part of the service, which included the first public performance of Elegy To The War Horse, Maggie, a beautiful white horse, was led down the aisle to join the service.
Her handler Andy Smerdon was dressed in authentic uniform to signify the solemnity of the occasion, but also to remember the service and sacrifice of millions of UK, Allied and Commonwealth horses, mules and donkeys during the war.
Val was accompanied to the service by her husband Jack, Grantham Sunrise Rotary Club president Lez Jones and his wife Clare.
She said “I feel very proud and privileged to be a part of this memorial to the Great War horse, and that my poem was chosen to be a part of the time capsule”.
Val and Lez, with their partners, enjoyed spending some time with the dignitaries after the service.