Story of war horse to come to life at auction

A portrait of Crump the war horse, which will be going under the hammer in Honiton. A portrait of Crump the war horse, which will be going under the hammer in Honiton.

Friday, July 18, 2014
9:53 AM

Painting of war horse Crump goes under the hammer in Honiton.

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Historical records about Crump.Historical records about Crump.

The story of a Devon war horse who survived the battlefields of World War One will come to life in Honiton when a portrait of the animal goes under the hammer.

The watercolour painting of Crump the horse is just one of the lots being auctioned off by Chilcotts Auctioneers and Valuers on Saturday, July 19.

Crump served at the Somme during World War One and saw active service with the Irish Guards between August 1915 and March 1919. Auctioneer Duncan Chilcott said: “Chilcotts is pleased to be offering this stunning horse portrait with such a fascinating history, particularly now, one hundred years after the start of World War One, when we are especially remembering and honouring the brave people and horses who went into battle.

“In war slang of the time, crump was actually used as an onomatopoeic word for a German 5.9 inch shell or burst thereof, the last crump meaning the end of the war.”

Jenny Bell holding the Jersey Races His Majestys Cup 1911.Jenny Bell holding the Jersey Races His Majestys Cup 1911.

In addition to his military duties, Crump competed and won many races organised to keep the men’s spirits up.

He went on to win many more races throughout the war.

After the war Crump returned to Devon with his war companion, Brigadier General Honourable Lesley Butler of the Irish Guards.

His life continued to be active - his last recorded victory was in April 1920 in The Irish Guards Challenge Cup, a three mile race at the Household Brigade Steeplechases Meeting at Hawthorn Hill, which is commemorated by the portrait.

Also up for grabs is a large silver trophy - His Majesty’s Cup 1911 from the Jersey Races.

The auction will start at 11am with viewing taking place on Thursday, July 17, and Friday, July 18, from 9am until 7pm, at Chilcotts, Silver Street saleroom.

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