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The Memorial to the Australian Light Horse (Waler Memorial)Print Page Print this page

Waler Memorial Closeup
Waler Memorial Closeup

Photographs supplied by David Evans OAM, Chairman and originator - Tamworth Light Horse Memorial / Diane Watson

The Memorial was erected in memory of the Australian troopers and their horses who served in World War One.

Also known as The Tamworth Waler Memorial, the theme of the memorial is remembering Australian horses that have served in wars, and the memorial shows Australian Light Horse trooper saying farewell to his `Waler`horse in the Middle East desert at the end of  World War One.  

The term `Waler` was given to the Australian horse that became legendary in India, in South Africa during the Boer War and in the Middle East during the Great War of 1914 to 1918. British troops gave the horse its affectionate name as it was bred in New South Wales. During the First World War many thousands of horses were loaded onto ships and transported west.

The Australian Light Horseman and his horse had a huge impact on the outcome of the war. When regiments embarked for Egypt they were accompanied by their horses and throughout the campaign these horses were reinforced from Australia. More than that, the Indian Cavalry brigades ordered to Palestine in 1918 were mounted almost exclusively on Australian-bred Walers.

The Project to build the memorial was started on 25 April 2001 (ANZAC Day) and the cost of $190000 to construct the memorial was raised mainly through public donations.  The memorial was unveiled of 29 October 2005 (which was the date of the Light Horse charge at Beer-Sheba in World War One) by Major-General Digger James. 

Location

Address:Kable Avenue, Bicentennial Park, Tamworth, 2340
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.095
Long: 150.930833
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919
Monument Designer:Tanya Bartlett (Newcastle, NSW)
Monument Manufacturer:Crawfords Casting (Sydney, NSW)

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 29th October, 2005
Front Inscription

The Memorial to the Australian Light Horse.
The Tamworth Waler Memorial
                 unveiled by
Major General W.B. Digger James AC MBE MC
           on October 29, 2005.

Constructed at a cost of $150,000, funded by grants from Federal and State Governments, Tamworth Regional Council, Joblink Plus and donations from business houses, property owners, RSL Members and the community and was designed and created by Sculptor Tanya Bartlett from Newcastle. 
Memorial Committee: Chairman and originator David Evans, Ted Carter FCA, Norman Caslick, Toots Gilder, Bruce Hyman, Robert Hyman, Ken Lyttle OAM, Bruce Treloar AM, Don Willis PSM, Gordon Gaffney OAM (dec), Bob Gunning (dec).
This Memorial is given to the Tamworth Regional Council
for safe keeping and to the people of the district
in memory of our Australian Troopers and their great horses.


 

Left Side Inscription

The horses were known as Walers.
Only one came back.
In memory of the Waler. Between 1861 and 1931 approximately
500,000 horses were exported from Australia to the Indian Army, the
Boer War and Egypt with the Australian Light Horse as remounts.
Of all these horses only one returned, a gelding Sandy belonging
to Major General Sir William Bridges.
They were mainly bred from Blood, draught and pony breeds.
These were the forebears of the Australian Stock Horses and were
purchased from properties throughout Australia and in
the early stages were mostly purchased from N.S.W. which gave
them their name of Walers, coined by the English.

The most famous of all feats of the Waler Horse at war was the Light
Horse charge on Beersheba in 1917. The horses were without
water for 48 hours in the hot Sinai Desert and then undertook a
4 km cavalry charge across the burning plains under Turkish
gunfire to take Beersheba and its wells.

Back Inscription

The Tamworth Waler Memorial Committee
thanks the many organisations and individuals who generously
donated to the appeal to make this lasting Memorial possible.
 
The committee acknowledges the contribution
made by many RSL Sub-Branches and 
the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers.

The Tamworth Waler Memorial Committee acknowledges
the generous contribution made by the Board and Staff
of Joblink Plus in helping to fund the construction of this Memorial.

 

 

Right Side Inscription

                   About this Memorial.
The sculptor has depicted an Australian Trooper saying
farewell to his Waler Horse in the deserts of the Middle East
               at the end of World War One.
The horses were either killed in action, sold to other armies
or shot in the desert by a Trooper`s mate,
rather than leave their old companion behind
              to become beasts of burden.
The Trooper`s uniform and the military saddlery on
the horse has been based on original WW1 equipment.
The actual equipment used belonged to the late Bob Gunning.
A march lasting several days would see both horse and trooper
       carry equipment, rations and ammunition
                weighing approx 130 kgs.
                      Lest we forget.

Source: SKP,MA
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