War Horse sculpture honours millions of animals that died in World War I

A war memorial has been unveiled close to Ascot Racecourse to honour the millions of courageous animals that died during conflict in The Great War.

The bronze statue, designed by sculptor Susan Leyland, shows a depleted, battle-hardened war horse with its head bowed to honour its comrades, most of which never made it home.

Of the million British horses, donkeys and mules sent out to war, that dragged heavy weaponry, carried supplies to the front line and even removed corpses of killed soldiers from the battlefield, only 62,000 returned.

Mrs Leyland said: "The actual silhouette is of no horse in particular, it's meant to represent as many types as possible, her body is depleted, her bones showing, her ribs showing."

She added: "It's in her face I think (you see) the most of her anguish, with a her frown on her forehead and a half closed eye."

The sculpture, which was cast by Black Isle Foundry in Scotland at a cost of £300,000, was named Poppy the War Horse by Britain's Brownies and Guides.