Stables, St John’s Wood 1888

This painting by Godfrey Douglas Giles was painted in 1888 and hangs in the Cavalry and Guards Club in London. it depicts the stables built in the 1870s (another source says 1866). The RHA batteries occupied ‘The Wood’ from 1880. In 1888 B Battery were occupying the barracks. The CO (in those days called the Superintendent) inspects the stables accompanied by the Battery Sergeant-Major. Several men can be seen bringing boxes of oats to the horses. On the left of the picture the saddles and bridles are hung on supports. Traditionally there are some individuals in a Troop more at home in the stables than others. They are called ‘stablemen’ and are permitted to be more scruffy, but are an important asset as they are more attuned to the horses’ needs and ailments.

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by Stephen Luscombe