Soham, Cambridgeshire: Selling Blood for Fertiliser

Farming and horses were a key commodity during the war.

Joshua Martin, was a farmer, slaughterman, horse dealer, and landlord of the Red Lion Pub in Soham, where business was booming. Prior to the war he had been trading horsemeat in Belgium and France.

Martin was commissioned by the army to collect horses from the local community for troops to ride. Alongside this he made money from selling blood and bone for fertiliser, saved the fat for cosmetic face creams and fish and chip shops. He fattened pigs for sausages and slaughtered cattle affected by TB.

His son Josh Jr, who was born at the Red Lion, carried on the tradition of horse dealing and started the Soham Heavy Horse Show in 1953.

Location: Soham, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5HA
Image: Joshua Martin, courtesy of Barbara Warner

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