Cavalry of the Empire

In London’s Hyde Park is a rather fine monument erected by the ‘Cavalry of the Empire’ in the 1920s to honour fallen comrades, which was designed by Sir John James Burne. It shows St George -who else?- with sword raised and a dragon trampled beneath. The Great War, from whose killing fields this statue was raised, effectively saw the end of cavalry in the British army except for ceremonial purposes. The advent of the tank in 1916 proved as mobile as a horse, but better shielded. Britain’s enemies are now therefore unlikely to encounter the 10th Hussars charging them on the battlefield, which seems a pity.

Interestingly, the book of Revelation describes the heavenly host following the returning, conquering Christ riding on horses:

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (19:13-15)

Whether this is picture language to denote their strength and agility, or whether angelic warriors really ride supernatural mounts, one cannot say. Yet the second coming of Christ will be speedier and more frightening than the galloping Queen’s Royal Lancers or the Royal Dragoon Guards, the prospect of which causes the great dragon to shudder. 

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God has willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

-Dr Luther, 1529; translated by Fred. Hedge, 1852.