Special honor unveiled at historic military stables in Melton

Green plaque unveiled at historic military stables in Melton

The historic building has been approved for the award by Leicestershire County Council to recognize the valuable contribution it makes to the county’s heritage.

Horses and riders have been trained at the stables since 1903, providing important resources since the First World War. It had started as a stud farm when it was built in 1885.

In a speech before the unveiling of the plaque, County Hall Chairman Dr Kevin Feltham spoke about the importance of horses to the armed forces and the central role of Melton Barracks in this process.

Green plaque unveiled at historic military stables in Melton

He pointed out that the army deployed 368,000 horses to the Western Front in 1917 during World War I, spending £67.5million to buy them, or around £3billion in today’s money .

Dr Feltham said: “These military stables were a popular choice for a green plaque with the people of Leicestershire.

“This plaque pays tribute not only to these stables, but also to the service that military animals have given to this country for many years.”

Lt Col Mike Robinson RAVC, on behalf of the Defense Animal Training Regiment, which nominated the stables for the award, said Asfordby Road Barracks were in an ideal location when purchased by the Army from the beginning of the 20th century. Hunting horses were ideal for the military, he said, and Melton had an abundance of them due to his heritage with hunting.

RAVC veteran Peter Roffey under the green plaque unveiled at the historic military stables in Melton

“I’m extremely proud of what we deliver here,” said Lt Col Robinson.

“We are also fortunate to be held in such high regard by the people of the Melton area.”

Peter Roffey, who was also a guest at the unveiling, played a big role in the history of the barracks through his 37-year career with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.

He told the Melton Times: “It’s great to see the teams recognized in this way.

The historic stables of Melton’s Remount Barracks

“I started here as a watchman in the 1950s and this site hasn’t changed much since I retired in 1992.

“Woodwork and roof have been replaced on the stables but the stonework is the same and is still in remarkable condition considering the horses have beaten it for so many years.”

The military stables have been nominated for a green plaque by the DATR, which said in its nomination: “The unit strongly believes that this building is at the heart of 119 years of incredible history for Melton Mowbray and should be recognized for the awards. Green Plaque not only to represent all serving soldiers past and present, but to remember the service animals of World Wars 1 and 2 who later lost their lives to serve and protect the country in times of need.

The Defense Animal Training Regiment (DATR) Remount Barracks continues to train military working horses and dogs, equine instructors, farriers, dog handlers and trainers.

It is also the headquarters of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and houses a veterinary hospital.

Over its long history, the Remount Barracks has cared for famous animals, including Household Cavalry horse Sefton, which was seriously injured in the 1982 Hyde Park bombing.

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