Despite his wild and adventurous nature, Jerry shows himself to be reliable and dutiful when necessary. He is loyal in his duties to his family.

He admits to going to war in the first place because his parents need the money they would get if he was a soldier.

This same duty is shown when his father, also a soldier, goes missing on the battlefield and Jerry leaves to search for him – despite knowing the penalty for desertion.

While he feels no loyalty to the British King, he is willing to risk his life to do what his mother asks of him.

We also see that - again whilst feeling no duty towards the British whom he is fighting for - he says he is willing to bear arms for Ireland.

This happens when he goes horse riding with Alec and Bennett - he tells the others that he’s an Irish republican and he’s learning how to use a rifle for the fight in Ireland.


Jerry’s concern for his mother when his father is lost - despite frequent hints that his family life is not terribly happy - show him to be caring and compassionate.

Even though he’s aware the chances of finding his father are slim, he still goes in search of him.

He knows his mother will be anxious and that she will find it difficult financially without his father’s pay or the pension she would receive on his death.

It is also obvious Jerry worries about the conditions that the horses are being kept in when he requests to be transferred because “They need someone like me there”.

He has previously voiced his concerns that “They’re not looking after those animals at all … The spirit’s gone out of them”.

Even when Bennett teases him about “Irish sentiment creeping in” and tells him that “Perspective is needed”, Jerry is unfazed and tells him to “shut up, can’t you”.

It is clear that Jerry can sympathise with animals even as Bennett reminds him of the human casualties and that “Dead horses don’t smell any worse than dead men.”

This shows that, despite the dehumanising effects of war, Jerry still has compassion for the horses that he has loved since childhood.