Blue plaque commemorating legendary Pinxton war hero unveiled at his birthplace

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A plaque commemorating General Jack Seely, who famously led the last cavalry charge in British history, has been unveiled at the First World War hero’s birthplace at Brookhill Hall in Pinxton.

General Seely, also known as ‘Galloper Jack’, served as an MP for Ilkeston and Secretary of State for War before leading the Canadian Cavalry in the First World War.

Besides Winston Churchill, who he became good friends with, Seely was the only member of government to see active service during the war.

The blue plaque was unveiled by his grandson, racing commentator Brough Scott MBE, and supported by Steven Smith-Eccles, a former jockey who hails from the area.

Warrior, the horse led by Seely into battle, is thought to have been the inspiration behind Michael Morpugo’s 1982 novel War Horse, which was later adapted into a blockbuster film.

Warrior was dubbed the ‘horse the Germans couldn’t kill’ after he and Seely survived some of the war’s most famous conflicts including Ypres and the Somme.

At the Battle of Moreuil Wood in 1918, Warrior became lame and Seely was gassed. While Seely was invalided home, Warrior saw the war out and they were reunited in 1918.

Stanley Berill, who has lived in Pinxton all his life with his wife Anne, was inspired to approach English Heritage and ask if a blue plaque could be installed commemorate to Seely after he delved into the village’s history and discovered his fascinating story.

Anne said: “It means a lot to us to see the plaque unveiled because not many people know who Galloper Jack was.

“It’s important that the village’s contribution is recognised and we’d like to thank all the people who were instrumental in helping secure the plaque, including the Carr family who own Brookhill.”

Those who witnessed the unveiling were also treated to an afternoon tea and performances from the Pleasley Brass Band.

The food was donated by local businesses with proceeds going to Pixton’s 13th century village church, St Helen’s.