The Brooke Charity Supporters Day

Jan Leeming

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

THE BROOKE Charity Supporters' Day

Date: 16th October 2018

I don't ride and have never owned a horse but I love them and think they are the most noble of creatures. Not sure why I was chosen but was delighted to be asked to attend their Supporters' Day at the wonderful Sandhurst Military Academy and to interview #GrantHayterMenzies about his book telling the story of Dorothy Brooke and how @TheBrooke Charity came into being.

I arrived at the tail end of the morning session and only wish I'd been there sooner.  Representatives from Brooke Hospitals around the world were there to talk about their ongoing work in treating Equines and educating the owners.  As was pointed out, one cannot blame these poor people for their lack of education and ill treatment of the very animals who provide them with a livelihood - they have to be taught how precious is the well being of this very important member of their 'family'.

Dorothy Brooke was a remarkable woman who did so  very much to improve the lot of the poor horses most of whom had been left behind after WW1 - it was considered too expensive to bring them back.  She first saw some skeletal horses pulling Gharries and then noticed they bore the Army mark on their Flanks and she set about doing something to ease their plight.

She made an appeal to the public back in the Uk and received a tremendous response financially even though we were suffering a depression.  She had to overcome many obstacles not least because she was a woman.  Very often the most she could do was to buy these horses from their owners and put them out of their suffering usually after a day or two when they were given mash and other 'luxuries' which had been sadly lacking from their wretched lives.  Her hospital offered help in many ways - not least in giving the poor owners basic lessons in how best to look after their 'work horses'.  

It wasn't just horses it was all equines - the poor donkeys in the brick works and down the mines carrying far more than they were able and often with terrible sores from ill fitting harness.

I won't tell you any more - but if you are interested the book is called 'The Lost War Horses of Cairo' by Grant Hayter Menzies. What a lovely gentleman and such a pleasure to interview.  He has given 40% of the proceeds from his book to The Brooke.  He also hopes that someone might be interested in making a film of Dorothy Brooke's work and again would give 40% of any profits - just think what that would do for The Brooke and it's hospitals and all it's 'Patients'.

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