Confessions of Custard, a Military Mule

Confessions of Custard, a Military Mule
WarMule Wed, 30/04/2014 - 20:08

Yes, that's really the title of a book that is a collection of letters written by a mule called Custard to the Middleton sisters, nicknamed Merrie and Bright, which gives a fascinating insight into the Army life in between the wars (1929-1932). Both sisters had visited Custard at Ewshott Camp with their father, Captain 'Ack-Ack' Middleton, the Second in Command of the 13th Light Battery, 5th Light Brigade R.A. The published letters are as they were written, mainly hand-written, with beautiful drawings to illustrate what is being old in the letters. I simply couldn't put the book down until I'd reached the end. The whole read brought a rather large grin across my face I have to say!

One of the letters, dated 11th November 1929, is addressed to Brightie mentioning it was Remembrance Day and Custard had taken sixpence from her money-box to buy a poppy. She talks about old Alice probably remembering the Great War because she was an old horse and was the Sergeant Major's charger. It was amusing to read that Alice had reached a certain age and instead of getting any older, she knocked off a year each time she had a birthday and was currently the same age as the battery - thirteen. Alice goes on to tell Custard that the war isn't all glory and is more mud than anything.

The last paragraph of this letter touches the heart for it says that Custard hoped that if there was another fight, she would want to be part of it to be awarded as many medals as Alice had got. And if Custard wasn't to return then she hoped the children would buy a poppy in remembrance.

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