‘Orleans’ was the horse of Captain (later Brigadier) D. E. Whitworth, MC, 2nd Lancers (Gardner’s Horse). Whitworth’s Indian Army regiment served on the Western Front in France during the First World War (1914–1918) as part of the Mhow Cavalry Brigade in the 2nd Cavalry Division: it saw action at a number of battles, including the Somme, Flers-Courcellete and Cambrai. During the latter battle (November 1917) the Mhow Brigade was ordered to advance in the area of Pezieres and Epéhy to reinforce a weakened and disorganised infantry. Following a headlong cavalry charge under direct fire from a number of machine guns, they succeeded in capturing several forward positions and disrupting the enemy advance. Whitworth was one of three officers of the 2nd Lancers wounded in the attack. His horse ‘Orleans’ was wounded in the neck and flank. Three officers were killed, while 42 Indian other ranks were killed and 62 wounded.
Where to see this painting?
National Army Museum
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection