FORMER Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo will be guest speaker at a gala dinner hosted by Bowood House.

The fundraising dinner in aid of Michael and Clare Morpurgo’s charity, Farms for City Children, will take place on the evening of Friday, April 25.

Mr Morpurgo will give a talk entitled, War Horse and the Pity of War: writing about the First World War.

In the year that commemorates 100 years since the start of the First World War he will be focusing on his novel War Horse and what inspired him towards the story of Joey – the horse purchased by the Army for wartime service in France – and the attempts of his previous owner, young Albert, to bring him safely home.

It will be particularly poignant as Bowood House became a Red Cross Hospital during the 1914-18 war.

It was set up and run by the 5th Marchioness and with 20 nurses tending to 54 patients.

Tickets to the black tie dinner are priced at £150 per person to include a champagne and canape reception, three-course dinner accompanied by wines, soft drinks and coffee, and a pre-signed copy of a Michael Morpurgo book for each guest.

Lord Lansdowne said: “In a year when, as part of the country’s First World War commemorations, we will be recalling the role of our community, estate, and family between 1914 and 1918, it’s fitting that Michael Morpurgo will be at Bowood House to recount the War Horse story.”

For more, call the Bowood estate office on 01249 812102, email or visit