Charity screening of War Horse

War Horse

War Horse - Credit: Supplied

Stephen Spielberg’s 2011 film War Horse is set to raise money for the Royal British Legion with a showing at Colchester’s Firstsite arts centre, on November 3.

War Horse

War Horse - Credit: Archant

The 2pm matinee has been organised by Mayor of Colchester Cllr Peter Chillingworth to commemorate the centenary of the end of WWI.

It will feature an introduction by author and academic Andrew Phillips about Colchester in the Great War.

He said: “Few towns equalled Colchester’s contribution to the Great War. As headquarters of Eastern Command, its garrison supplied many of the 1914 Expeditionary Force that stopped Germany on the Marne and was busy day and night loading men, equipment and horses for transport to France.

“Resident soldiers sometimes equalled the town’s population of 40,000 – putting a massive strain on the infrastructure of the town, which also became a reception area for 100,000 casualties in crowded military, civilian and converted Red Cross hospitals.

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“Half the town’s adult male population took up arms and over 20%, nearly twice the national average, died. No wonder Colchester erected one of the largest and most dramatic war memorials for a town of its size, to commemorate four of the most dramatic years in its 2,000-year history.”

Cllr Chillingworth said: “It is really rather poignant and fitting to show War Horse, I feel, given that thousands of requisitioned farm horses were ‘broken in’ and sent from Colchester to the front during the conflict. Their immense sacrifice was also tragic.”

Tickets cost £8 and can be booked through the Firstsite website.

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