An intriguing article has come to light in the Surrey History Centre archive. A newspaper cutting dated 1911 (newspaper title unknown) in the Manor of Witley records (SHC ref. 1889/Box 2) says
“Gift to the Nation
Army Remount Breeding
Mr. George Pinckard, of Combe Court, Witley, one of the most beautiful country estates in Surrey, has made a gift to the War Office of 450 acres of land, together with kennels, stables, and cottages, situated in that county, for the purposes of breeding Army remounts. Since the advent of the motor-car there has been an incredible diminution in the number of horses in the British Isles, especially those available for military purposes, and the War Office officials have unhesitatingly accepted Mr. Pinckard’s generous and patriotic present to the nation, which is estimated to be equal in value to nearly £20,000.
Since Mr. Pinckard relinquished the Mastership of Chiddingfold Hunt he has lent the estate to the hunt, but as the neighbourhood has now ceased to be hunting country he has taken the opportunity of making this gift to the nation.”
The cutting is dated prior to the outbreak of the First World War, so did the War Office continue to use the site as a remount depot during the war? Where was this large area of land located? If anyone has information please contact us. This item came from a collection of papers that span the war years and more intriguing discoveries may come to light.