A Hoof Memorial – Mary Ann

Mary Ann was a horse who served in the Mounted Military Police in Egypt 1882-1903. Following her death her hoof was presented to Military Police, Cairo by Major General Sir R. Talbot. It is now on loan to The AGC Museum from The RMP Museum.

The Mounted Military Police were formed in 1855 (however not a Permanent Corps until 1877) to police the new garrison at Aldershot, although mounted ‘policing’ units of some sort or another had been used on and off since the 13th century, with the most recent prior to this having been a Corps of 100 men during the Crimean War. The Military Foot Police was formed in 1885, as a counterpart to the MMP, to serve in Egypt. At the beginning of the First World War both Corps had expanded to nearly 5000 men, and the two Corps were amalgamated into the Corps of Military Police in 1926.

Horses were used extensively by the British Army up to the early 20th century, but their use somewhat tapered off after the First World War due to the improvement of motor vehicles. During the First World War over 368,000 horses were used, most of whom had been drafted from civilians. They were used for everything from policing, to ambulances, to supply chains. Horses could go nearly everywhere men could go, including places where vehicles would get stuck in mud or sand, and could carry much more than the soldiers.

Whilst horses are still used by the British Army, their role is ceremonial and they are no longer used on front lines. Cavalry Regiments now use tanks! The RMP Mounted Troop was disbanded in 1995.