Peckham War Horse Project - photo re-enactment

A bit out of patch but a great story all the same! An iconic July 1915 street scene photo-postcard of horses being prepared for the WWI front line was re-enacted and photographed today (May 11th) in Lyndhurst Way, SE15. It all came together with help from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and lots of locals tending to everything from costumes to free food. There were appearances from a Joey Warhorse puppet (from the War Horse stage production at New London Theatre), three local primary schools and the Mayor of Southwark Cllr Sunil Chopra. RainDesign's Vipul Sangoi took his re-enactment photos from a cherry picker elevated above Lyndhurst Way (at Chadwick Road) while scores took pictures below.

Brainchild of artist and social historian Melissa Jo Smith, who lives in Lyndhurst Way, today's venture is known as the Peckham War Horse Project, and has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Peckham and Nunhead Community Council Neighbourhoods Funds. According to Smith, everyone who's seen the photo has been been inspired.

Vipul Sangoi's re-enactment photo with citizenry in period costume!

The 1915 photo which led Smith to organise the re-enactment was taken by Frederick Alfred Finch of Rye Lane and depicted some of the Camberwell Division of R. F. A. - there was a division based at Camberwell at that time. The site Europeana 1914-1918 notes the photo depicts horses "tethered in Lyndhurst Road ... to escape infection at temporary stables at Gordon's Brewery." It is clearly Lyndhurst Way but now as then, the soldiers and horses seem incongruous in it. And the trees have grown lots in 100 years!

The Project has also involved primary school students who have learned about the First World War and the importance of the Finch postcard while taking part in art workshops at venues such as Peckham Platform. See the Peckham War Horse Project page ( ) and event ( for more pictures. For a higher resolution version of the 1915 photo (by clicking into it) go to See another picture album from Ivanhoe Residents at which we've distilled this article from.

Read more background from The Peckham Peculiar on Tumblr:

Coverage in the Southwark News at:

Cherry picking a shot; students with "Joey"; Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment; Melissa Jo Smith