When Currie arrived at Valcartier, he chose a large ten year old bay hackney gelding as his charger. They developed a lifelong friendship. Brocklebank, or Brock as Currie called him, was a bit willful, but Currie and he seemed to get along. Brock had a white star on his face and four white socks.
Brock went all through the war with Currie. Currie's day would often start with a visit to the stables and a treat for Brock. Currie acquired several other chargers, but Brock was his favorite.
There are records of Currie on Brock riding over a battlefield. Must have been some sight, this large man on a large horse.
"then we heard a clatter coming up the road and here was Sir Arthur Currie with his staff and a little escort of cavalry and without a word the troops gave a cheer that I can still hear ringing. It was the heartiest thing I've ever heard in my life and I wish that some of these people who thought Currie was unpopular with the troops could have heard it"
- DH C Mason private CEF
After the war when Currie would come to Strathroy to visit, he would also get a chance to meet his old friend Brock for the faithful horse spent his last years on Currie’s brother’s farm.
When Currie died, Brock was a very old horse and unfortunately wasn't up to following his General's caisson. He lived a few more years and then, according to Strathroy residents, was buried between Jane Curry's house and the barn. No marker indicates the exact location.
Letter from Currie to Lieutenant Colonel D Tamblyn 8 March 1923 – Published in The Selected Papers of Sir Arthur Currie, Mark Osborne Humphries, LCMSDS Press of Sir Wilfred Laurier University, 2008
My Dear Colonel
Apparently I have no photo of my horse which shows the animal by himself. I am sending along two to you and regret that I must force myself into the picture.
The horse, as you will remember, was a very tall animal, strong shouldered , good carriage, red bay in colour. He was really not an officer’s charger but a large hackney. I always called him “Brock” short for Brocklebank, but as a matter of fact, that was not his registered name. The horse was sent to Valcartier from the stable of E. J. Howe of Vancouver . I remember at horse shows he was quite a consistent winner. I think probably the best thing for me to do would be to write to Mr Howe and ask him to give me the history of the horse.
I can only say that he stood the rigours of the campaign in the most splendid fashion. I do not know of his being ill at any time. No horse stood the trip across the Atlantic or from England to France (and you know how rough that trip was) any better and few as well. He was a horse with a mind of his own, but we usually got on very well together. The only peculiarity that I remember was that if we disagreed while I was riding him he undertook to rough ride me for the next five minutes or so, but he didn’t sulk long. I rode him at all the principal parades which I attended—the reviews by the King in England and France, the Field Marshal’s reviews and also when we crossed into Germany when I rode at the head of the 3rd Battalion and also when we crossed the Bonn Bridge. I have a picture which shows myself and staff seated on our horses at the east end of the Bonn Bridge when the first troops went across. If you would like a copy I will get it for you.
I brought the horse back to Canada , where he now finds a home on my brother’s farm in western Ontario . I visit my old home about t here times a year and am always glad to know the he recognizes me. He immediately comes up to me, smells around my pockets for apples or some other sweet and kisses me very frequently.
With all good wishes, I am yours faithfully
A W Currie