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In the book “All Hell Let Loose” by Max Hastings, the writer mentions about the condition of British farmers during WWII:

"Wiltshire farmer Arthur Street ploughed up his grassland as the government ordered, and sent away his beloved hunter to be trained for harness work. Many riding horses took badly to this humble duty, but Street’s ‘Jorrocks’ ‘trotted home like a gentleman.”

What does "Street's Jorrocks" mean?

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    Presumably its a horse named "Jarrocks" owned by a farmer whose last name is "Street". – T.E.D. Jan 2 at 14:58
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    It could be that the author just included the names to personalize the account somewhat. Make it relatable for people who find generalized historical discussion boring. Some historical writers like to do that (I'm not one who needs or likes this writing style, but I've seen it). Or you could be right that they are ultimately of some further importance to the narrative. Its hard to say without more context. – T.E.D. Jan 2 at 15:22
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    OMG yes, journalists turned historians are particularly into this style. Then again, they've made more money selling books written that way than I ever will, so perhaps I'm the fool for criticizing it. – T.E.D. Jan 2 at 15:59
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    This online version of the text has a different version: "Wiltshire farmer Arthur Street ploughed up his grassland as the government ordered, and sent away his beloved hunter to be trained for harness work. Many riding horses took badly to this humble duty, but Street’s ‘Jorrocks’ ‘trotted home like a gentleman’ ...", which makes it clear. – sempaiscuba Jan 2 at 16:44
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    The Italian version has the same wording as the online version above, so I suspect that the edition you have was the victim of some careless editing at some point in its history! – sempaiscuba Jan 2 at 17:01
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T.E.D. is right here. It is mentioned that Jorrocks "trotted home". A "trot" is a type of horse gait. Therefore, Jorrocks is most likely a horse, and presumably Street was the owner of Jorrocks.

Jorrocks is actually a somewhat famous horse name (the name of a famous racing horse), so it makes sense as a horse name (though the original would have been long dead by WW2). I also note the extra apostrophe after "Jorrocks". It could be a typo.

  • I was unaware of Street being a surname in the U.K and therefore it sounded unusual. You are right, the apostrophe after Jorrocks is a typo, it is mentioned as ‘Street’s Jorrocks.’ – Noeshel Jan 2 at 15:28
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    It is possible that the famous horse Jorrocks (foaled in 1833) was named after a character Jorrocks in the humorous stories by R. S. Surtees, starting from the 1831 issue of The New Sporting Magazine (babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/…) on page 177. – kimchi lover Jan 2 at 17:10
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This got to be a bit long for comments, so I'm moving the content here.

farmers sent away their hunters to be trained for harness work. Many riding horses took badly to this humble duty, but Street’s Jorrocks trotted home like a gentleman.

This is presumably simply a real-world example of a farmer and his horse, of the type he's talking about. In this case the farmer's surname is "Street", and the horse's name is "Jorrocks".

Most likely the author just included the names to personalize the account somewhat. Make it relatable for people who find generalized historical discussion boring. Some historical writers like to do that. You particularly see this from professional Journalists like Mr. Hastings, who are presumably used to this style of writing in their day jobs. I'm not one who needs or likes this writing approach in historical works, but I have seen it.

Given what Wikipedia has to say about the book's writing style, you should probably expect rather a lot of this:

All Hell Let Loose covers the entire span of World War II, following the military developments of the war but focusing on the reactions and experiences of different individuals (both uniformed and civilian). Reviews refer to the book as an "everyman's story" made up of accounts from those with lesser roles in the conflict; "ranging from ship's cooks to wireless operators, farmers and housewives to typists and black marketeers."

The book addresses several "triumphalist" aspects of written war history by focusing on the "misery, heroism and endurance" of individual accounts

(emphasis mine)

I haven't read this particular book, so I can only say that I hope he pulls this off better than the authors I have read who did this. In bad cases it reads like something a history-hating editor forced the author to go back and tack in everywhere.

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'Street' in this case is the English farmer, writer and broadcaster A. G. Street, 'Jorrocks' was his horse, and the anecdotes are taken from Street's book From Dusk Until Dawn, published in 1945.


This online edition of Hastings' book has a different version of that paragraph:

"Wiltshire farmer Arthur Street ploughed up his grassland as the government ordered, and sent away his beloved hunter to be trained for harness work. Many riding horses took badly to this humble duty, but Street’s ‘Jorrocks’ ‘trotted home like a gentleman’ ..."

Which is much more clear.

It also includes Street's book in the bibliography:

Street, A.G.

From Dusk Until Dawn

Blandford 1945


Google Books doesn't appear to offer a preview from the English version of Hastings' book, however the Italian version has essentially the same wording as the online version cited above.

I suspect that what has happened in this case is that the edition you have was the victim of some careless editing at some point in its history. Sadly, this kind of thing is not an uncommon occurrence!

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