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A model engineering exhibition might be thought an odd place to rediscover equine history. Each year in the autumn a venue by the side of the Fosse Way in Warwickshire hosts a prestigious event which attracts individuals and coachloads of model engineers from all over the country. There is an almost carnival air surrounding the vast array of trade and society stands, demonstrations and individual exhibits, all engineered to an amazingly high standard.

  This October, one of the first collections to excite the visitor entering the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre was presented by the Guild of Model Wheelwrights. Standing out amid numerous and varied examples of haywains, carts and agricultural equipment was one unique model which held a particular resonance for anyone interested in the history of the horse.
  This artefact was a highly detailed 1/8th scale model of a Mk II Royal Army Veterinary Corps horse drawn horse ambulance.

  Its creator, Brian Simpson from Stoke on Trent, spent a week taking precise measurements of an original discovered in store at Deepcut Barracks. Ambulances of this type were used in the 1st World War and had many ingenious design features to facilitate loading, transportation and unloading of equine casualties. These included detachable shafts which could be fixed to either end, a driving seat which could be attached to either side of the ambulance, a special support for horses likely to collapse and a clever four point jacking system.

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