This is a view of the Drummond House in Montreal before the war. I show this again because of the horses.
In 1915, this is how most of the officers on the CEF "saw" horses.
Many of the horses that Alec and the 2nd Brigade CFA took to England and then next month to France were in effect pets. Each officer had two of his own from home. Alec's groom, Harold Cooper, had come from the Allan stables and must have known and had looked after many of the horses in the Battery.
This first group of 100 horses were as well known to the men as the men were to each other. They were as unsued to war as the men.
This classic painting shows the grief of the loss at this early stage in the war. Each death of a man or a horse had the power then of shocking people.
But as the war went on, death lost its ability to shock and became commonplace.
Men lived, slept and faught next to other dead men. The trenches that the Canadians first used were like this. They were full of dead Frenchmen and Germans who had not been moved for months. Agar Adamson's diary (PPCLI) tells of having to dig a new trench through a wall of dead bodies.
So it did not take men long to pass by dead horses without a second glance.
But the bond was still there with individuals.
This was especially true in the artillery where life with the horses was everything.
As the war went on horses also became more valuable than men.
The value of horses was known to all. In 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele, men at the front understood that "at this stage to lose a horse was worse than losing a man because after all, men were replaceable while horses weren't." For Britain, horses were considered so valuable that if a soldier's horse was killed or died he was required to cut off a hoof and bring it back to his commanding officer to prove that the two had not simply become separated.
My uncle tells me that his father, Alec, had a large collection of hooves. All from horses that he had lost.
Only a handful of the horses that came from Canada ever returned home. It is not even clear that Bonfire ever made it back.
I know of only one horse who did - Morning Glory. She died in Canada and is buried near where I live now.
There are few graves for any of the millions of horses and mules that perished.
But like the Menin Gate memorial to the lost men, there is a memorial.
But this small memorial says more.
Situated at the Memorial Dispensary in Kilburn, north west London.