A Million Tears the official global purple poppy anthem to honour the service and sacrifice of tens of millions of animals over hundreds of years of conflict, has been relaunched this week and has the backing of the nation’s latest treasure Patrick the Celebrity Pony!
Patrick, a minature Shetland pony and official mascot of the Fund, has become something of a superstar with appearances in many national newspapers and guest sports on national TV and radio since he was elected ‘unofficial’ Mayor of the Devon village of Cockington.
Sung by acclaimed soprano Christina Johnston and following its Number 1 success in the ITunes Classical Chart in March, it has been relaunched to coincide with the launch of the 2022 Animal Purple Poppy Fund which culminates with National War Animal Day on August 23.
The song, co-written by Warwick, Young and Maclean, voices how warring nations have commandeered animals to work alongside soldiers in battle, and how the purple poppy has become a powerful and poignant symbol of their endurance and loss. The track is now available on all major digital platforms, including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon.com, YouTube, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Tik Tok.
Alan Carr MBE co-founder of War Horse Memorial explains: “This wonderful anthem, sung to perfection by Christina Johnston, one of our global Ambassadors, pays homage to animals who, in two World Wars and subsequent conflicts, served the ambitions of man. Eight million horses and countless mules and donkeys died in the First World War alone. They were used to transport ammunition and supplies to the front; dogs were used to carry messages in the trenches and cats to kill the rats that thrived in such appalling conditions. This simple emblem helps us remember their service and this powerful anthem gives voice to their sacrifice, and Patrick symbolises all that is honourable and selfless about animals and why we owe them so much.”
Patrick’s day job is as a trained therapy pony, and he visits hospitals and care homes, spreading joy and happiness to patients and residents. He lives and works with Kirk and Hannah Petrakis who are both purple poppy ambassadors for the War Horse Memorial. Kirk says: “To think ponies like Patrick were sent down the mines and used to support the war effort is unimaginable to me. Raising money through the sale of this wonderful anthem will help many good causes who have been struggling to survive in recent times.”
Christina Johnston, who has sung before presidents and heads of state, says it’s such an honour to represent The War Horse Memorial through this beautiful track. “I have a tremendous love of all animals, especially horses and ponies, and when I was asked to be Ambassador of this wonderful organisation it was such a compliment. And then to be asked to be the voice too was a double treat.”