by Sandie Dixon, 34 Ethelburt Avenue

We first found horseshoes in our garden when digging the foundations for the kitchen extension in 1980. We didn’t know about the Remount Depot back then, so we just kept them, hoping they might bring us good luck. Over the years, mainly when digging the vegetable plot, I have found a lot of other stuff, which I now know has (probably) come from the Depot.

The finds include lots of broken glass bottles and jars, china and pottery and also metal items: horse and possibly mule shoes or boot heels, tools, nails, a flat iron, a lump of once molten metal fused with ash and an enamel potty. Of course, I can’t be certain that these items relate to the Depot but the potty was under a dead apple tree (believed to be one of the original ones planted by Herbert Collins when the house was built) so we can be fairly sure that it dates from the time of the Depot. Also, one of the pottery jar bases has W.Adams &Co 1916 written on it – so that fits. Our garden is where the southernmost boundary of the camp was, just beyond where the line of huts stood.

I know that other residents have found horseshoes and horse hair in gardens nearby, but quite why there is so much stuff in our garden intrigues me. Now that the story of our War Horses and their servicemen has become better known, I think of what went on in my garden all those years ago, each time I make a new find.

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