Story: Veterinary services

Horses and vets at war

Horses and vets at war

Army veterinarians bandage a horse’s eye in Louvencourt, France, in 1918, during the First World War. Horses were used extensively in the New Zealand wars of the 19th century, the South African War and the First World War – both by mounted cavalry and for hauling heavy artillery, equipment and supplies. The New Zealand Veterinary Corps was formed in 1907. When war broke out, they selected and transported nearly 10,000 horses, and set up veterinary hospitals in Egypt. In addition, a New Zealand section served at a veterinary hospital at Calais. Although New Zealand horses were highly regarded, many suffered from exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and extremes of heat and cold. Some died from disease, injury or wounds.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association Collection
Reference: 1/2-013211; G
Photograph by Henry Armytage Sanders

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Hamish Mavor and Bob Gumbrell, 'Veterinary services - Early vet services, 1850s to 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 8 December 2023)

Story by Hamish Mavor and Bob Gumbrell, published 24 Nov 2008