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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

AVC man carrying pistol


PhilB
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And for personal protection as well presumably?

Fine looking horse by the way.

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Phil, are you sure he isn't Military Mounted Police?

:D Only joking, nice photo.

Roger.

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Not sure if this will add anything...but under the terms of the Geneva Convention medical personnel can be armed for the protection of themselves and their patients. So anyone else (except padres) can be armed and used for offensive operations.

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I don't know much about the in and outs about calibre and such. What I do know is that if you do not use sufficient amount of destructive power to kill a horse then you won't do the job properly.

To shoot a horse with the instant desired outcome, you need to use an amount of calibre that destroys the brain immediately, by shooting through the forehead and down the spine. It was once described to me as, imagine a cross from ear to eye, angling down the spine. Horses not shot correctly, were known to go mad, becoming a dangerous and sometimes lethal animal. Never mind the suffering of the animal during this time.

Regards

Kim

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Here`s his mate, another AVC man on what looks like the same horse. Also with pistol. Phil B

post-2329-1144326976.jpg

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Seeing that both men have 03 bandoleers we can presume that they were also issued SMLE's at least available with-in their unit.

Joe Sweeney

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Are AVC men considered to be medical? Do they wear red cross armlets etc? I thought they would be soldiers whose job it is to look after animals. Like the farriers of the Household Cavalry.

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Are AVC men considered to be medical? Do they wear red cross armlets etc? I thought they would be soldiers whose job it is to look after animals. Like the farriers of the Household Cavalry.

This is an interesting question, for which there are probably many answers depending on whether the national Veterinary units were organisationally part of the medical establishment or not. The 1906 Geneva Agreements (those in effect during WWI) do not mention veterinary units or personnel, but grant protection to "sanitary formations and establishments". Thus, it is conceivable that veterinary personnel could be part of the "sanitary formation", and thus protected. This may have been a problem in that the 1929 Geneva Convention does mention Veterinary personnel and equipment, but only in a negative sense-- Article 8(4) notes that Sanitary formations or establishments do not lose their convention protection simply if "there is with it personnel and materiel of the veterinary service which does not belong to it". Thus, it seems that the intent of the 1929 conventions is that Veterinary personnel were not protected. However, Chapter V of the 1929 Convention gives protection to "Sanitary Transports", which would have included horse-drawn vehicles and their supporting personnel-- so it is confused. It could be argued that, under the 1929 agreements, veterinary services used solely for the care of animals used by the medical services were protected, while other veterinary services, e.g. for cavalry units were not. In today's world, many armies use veterinary personnel to carry out food hygiene inspections, and thus they are part of the medical department-- in this case, they would be protected, but this is under the 1949 Convention, which came along much later. Doc2

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I don't know if it applied then, or whether it applies now in the US, but a qualified veterinary surgeon in this country is also permitted to treat human beings (we are, after all, just another sort of animal). I don't have examples, but suspect that army veterinarians must have saved many human lives during the GW. As the son of a vet myself, I would be interested to hear of any published memoirs of AVC vets.

regards

Mick

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The man in post nr. 1 is not carrying a pistol but a Webley revolver.

Regards,

Cnock

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I think Cnock was just clarifying what kind of pistol it is. A Webley .455 would have been an ideal weapon for despatching a wounded horse under field conditions, as the bullet is big enough to destroy the brain without the need for pithing or bleeding to ensure death.

regards

Mick

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What`s pithing? :( Phil B

It`s OK - I`ve just looked it up! Severing the spinal cord. I did see a photo of an AVC man carrying what looked like a jack knife but not the usual type with black chequered sides. Did they possibly carry a specialized jack knife for horse cutting? Phil B

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I was afraid you would ask that. It involves inserting a rod through the hole in the skull made by the bullet (or captive-bolt) and manipulating it to further destroy the brain tissue and connections.

I don't know if there is a subtle distinction re pistol/revolver in Cnock's own language, but I'm sure he was only trying to refine the description - ie. what he's carrying is not just a pistol, it's a Webley revolver.

Talking of shooting horses, the Grand National is due to start in a couple of hours, so let's hope they all get round safely. My shirt's on Forest Gunner, for obvious reasons ...

regards

Mick

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I have an old dictionary from the 20s which defines pithing as severing the spinal cord, which I thought would be done by sticking a knife, or similar, directly into the spine? Phil B

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I think that's called 'bullfighting' !

Pithing, as I described it, ensures destruction of the brain tissue and severance of the connections to the spinal cord. Shooting alone, when done properly, using the right weapon, is sufficient in itself. Let's leave it at that.

Forest Gunner came nowhere, but fortunately I also had £10 each way on Numbersixvaldeverde :D

regards

Mick

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I don't know if it applied then, or whether it applies now in the US, but a qualified veterinary surgeon in this country is also permitted to treat human beings (we are, after all, just another sort of animal). I don't have examples, but suspect that army veterinarians must have saved many human lives during the GW. As the son of a vet myself, I would be interested to hear of any published memoirs of AVC vets.

regards

Mick

Interestingly, vets can treat humans (or, should I say, are qualified to), whereas doctors are not qualified to treat animals. I believe this is because vets spend a year doing human anatomy, etc, whereas doctors don't reciprocate.

So, it's safer to be run over outside a vet practice than it is to have your dog run over outside a doctor's

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