Mule Lines – Muffin’s 30th Birthday

Photograph of Muffin, Adoption Star of the Redwings Horse Sanctuary, and adopted mule of the Salonika Campaign Society.In 2015 the Salonika Campaign Society adopted Muffin, a mule resident at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary at Caldecott in Norfolk. This was felt to be a fitting way to commemorate the mules on which the BSF depended one hundred years ago. At the Society’s annual meeting in that year, Muffin was made an honorary member of the Society with the special membership number Salonika 4, as a reminder of the BSF’s pack transport establishment of the same name.

In a few days time, Muffin is celebrating a very special birthday as he turns 30. Rescued from slaughter with his mum, who died shortly after, he has been on Redwings’ adoption programme ever since, making him their longest serving ‘Adoption Star’. He is having a birthday party on Sunday 16th April from 11.30am and visitors are welcome. To find out more about his party, visiting Redwings and to see a very cute photo of baby Muffin, visit this web page:

Muffin’s story has a happy ending, but it is unlikely there was any such for most of the mules and horses of the BSF. George Armour, equine artist and officer in the Army Remount Service describes in his autobiography, Bridle & Brush (1937, republished 1986 by Ashford Press Publishing) the selling of 25,000 and comments:

It was a very distasteful thing to have to sell these animals into the slavery which would inevitably be their fate, but there was no alternative. Orders were issued and carried out that all over sixteen years of age should be destroyed, a well-intentioned thought though hardly logical, as the younger the animal the longer would be his time of suffering. The heavy draught horses were unsaleable, as what one of them required in the way of food would have consumed all there was to keep the other animals on a farm alive.

Redwings adoption mule Muffin receives his honorary membership certificate from Robin Braysher, SCS Web Editor, on his birthday in April 2016.
Redwings adoption star Muffin receives his honorary membership certificate from Robin Braysher, SCS Web Editor, on his birthday in April 2016 in recognition of the vital role played by mules in the Macedonian campaign of 1915-1918.

Author: SCS Web Editor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and soon after became editor of the Society's journal - 'The New Mosquito' - a role he held until 2008. He then became the Society's web editor, a role he seems unable to shake off. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Opinions expressed in these posts are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.