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Officer with a pack of fox hounds on the Western Front


Moriaty
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Somewhere (and I cant now remember, though it might have been in the letters of Raymond Asquith) I am sure that I read of an officer who brought a pack of fox hounds over to France with him during the war.

Has anyone else read of this?

Moriaty

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I've also heard of it but cannot remember from where, I suspect it might have been RHA but couldn't swear to it.

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There is, and there is also a story of a Cavalry Regiment who went to the Front with a fox to hunt (had to be yeomanry), so will check out my Military Obits.

Rob

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In the Obituary of Colonel Charles Clark who served with the Warwickshire Yeomanry where he won both a DSO and an MC in the First War, he was encouraged by the former Master of the Wexford Hounds and some companions in the South Irish Horse who had acquited a somewhat scruffy fox, whose stamina was built up with a liberal diet of fowl. Unfortunatly the chase could not begin as the fox was claimed by another Regiment who proved it had been brought to France as a pet.

You coudn't make this up! :rolleyes: It's in The DTs Second book of Obituaries

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I know that there is a warning in my GF's regiment's war diary about respecting the local landowners rights when indulging in a bit of hunting in France. I am not sure whether this refers to fox hunting or simply mooching about with their Purdeys.

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There is a story of a cavalry regiment going to war with hounds in 1939, that again was in the DTs wonderful Military Obits, all cracking Boys Own stuff.

I am sure the family Purdeys still get an outing after all the Queens Royal Irish Hussars went into action in Gulf war 1 to the burst of a Hunting horn and a tally Ho over the net.

Rob

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Yeomanry regiment in Iraq in WW2 - not a full pack of hounds but "10 couple " IIRC.

Described in John Masters' book - The Road Past Mandalay.

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Slightly off topic but hunting related. Captain Julian Grenfell DSO of the Royal Dragoons kept a game book rcording his kills, his last peacetime entry recorded a bag of birds in India. His first wartime entry recorded 'two Pomeranians' (not of the dog variety either). Apparently he specialised in hunting snipers. Seems to rather have enjoyed his war (albeit a short one, he was killed in May 1915) describing it as 'like a big picnic but without the objectivelessness of a picnic'. His poem 'Into Battle' is worth a read.

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Not the WF, but little matter

from

THE DIARY OF A YEOMANRY M.O

EGYPT, GALLIPOLI, PALESTINE AND ITALY

BY

CAPTAIN O. TEICHMAN, D.S.O., M.C., CROIX DE GUERRE, CROCE DI GUERRA

Royal Army Medical Corps (T.F.)

Originally published by T. FISHER UNWIN LTD., LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE

PALESTINE (page 219 - early 1918)

"On returning to Belah I found that "hunting" was in full swing, the Belah Hounds (Fifth Mounted Brigade) meeting three days a week south of the Wadi, while the Gaza Hounds (Twenty-second Mounted Brigade) hunted the country to the north. The hounds consisted chiefly of terriers and native dogs, but the Sherwood Rangers actually possessed one couple of foxhounds. As a rule the jackal had to be finally dispatched by one of the whips before hounds would break him up, which made the end of the hunt somewhat tame. On one occasion a jackal was hunted from a fig grove outside our camp to Ali Muntar, where he went aground in an old tomb, the distance traversed being about 7 or 8 miles. "

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Certainly some cavalry regiments did import packs of hounds to France during winter 1914-15, but hunting was stopped after French complaints that the British weren't taking the war seriously.

Charles M

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Two comments.

I have a probably reliable lead on a US mortar company staffed by socially prominent and mostly wealthy individuals (officers and men) that rented a French chateau and had 120 riding horses and 190 personal servants stationed there. I have not checked it out, and the topic might be a bit sensitive even today, so I don't want to post details.

Also, I have a letter from my grand-father, on the northern Russian Front, about putting his unit in winter quarters, and then organizing some bear hunting, with details on the range of bears in the area.

Bob Lembke

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In either Goodbye to All That or Memoirs of an Infantry officer didn't they have terriers for rat hunting? Obviously not the pedigree of the fox, but a hunting dog none the less. :glare:

Jon

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  • 3 weeks later...

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