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Last Farewell : March 2014
Last Farewell : March 2014

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

Sculpture dedicated to the memory of the Australian Light Horse.

At the end of World War One , the Australians in Egypt, Palestine and Syria had 9,751 horses of all types and their fate quickly became an important consideration in the AIF’s demobilisation. Returning the horses to Australia was quickly ruled out, partly because of the disease threat they posed to Australia’s livestock industry. More fundamentally, returning them would cost more than the horses were worth.

In early 1919 the Australian government decided that its animals in the Middle East would be classified according to age and fitness, with the better mounts being either passed to imperial units, pooled in remount depots for later reissue or, failing that, sold. The older and unfit horses would be destroyed. Thus in February 1919 veterinary officers began examining horses: all riding horses over 12 years old, all draught horses over 15 years old, all unsound horses and those requiring more than two months’ treatment were marked for destruction.

After their manes and tails were shorn (horse hair was valuable) and their shoes removed, these horses were taken to selected spots near their camps where working parties under the command of a veterinary officer shot them with pistols. They were gutted and the skins salted (these were valuable too).

In all, 3,059 of the AIF’s horses were destroyed in this way by members of Australian or British military forces. General Bridges horse "Sandy" was the only Australian Waler horse to return from the First World War. 

Location

Address:Light Horse Parade & Sabre Crescent, Holsworthy, 2173
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.958423
Long: 150.954282
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919
Link:http://www.warmemorialsregister.nsw…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 21st November, 1997
Front Inscription

LAST FAREWELL
The Light Horsemen were informed
that their horses would not be returning
to Australia with them.
Only one returned
"Sandy"
the charger of Major General Bridges.
Dedicated to the memory of the Australian Light Horse
21 November 1997

Source: NRWM, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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