These spurs were worn by Archibald Thomas Bradford (right, wearing the spurs), later of Romford. He was featured in the September Object of the Month – The German Compass.
He initially enlisted in the North Staffordshire Regiment, but transferred into the Royal Regiment of Artillery as a gunner and then a driver with the Royal Field Artillery in 1915.
Although the British Army underwent rapid and extensive mechanisation during the First World War, horses and mules remained the backbone of transportation. As a gunner and driver, Archibald would have been responsible for a pair of horses, often in a team of four, six, eight or possibly even more. The horses pulled the guns from place to firing positions, often in atrocious weather conditions.
Spurs would have been issued to Archibald to help him goad the horses that were likely to be weakened by their heavy load, frightened and just as reluctant as their drivers to move towards the devastating action.
*Objects loaned by Mary Larner.