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Light Horse MemorialPrint Page Print this page

16-February-2014
16-February-2014

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / Sandra Brown

In November 2003 a monument to the 24 Australian Light horse regiments and their horses was unveiled by Maurice Watson, aged 84, the last Light Horseman, who enlisted from Tongala.

The statue, standing two metres, is of a horseman carrying an empty saddle, bridle and saddle cloth, walking away, head lowered. On a plaque beneath the statue is the poem Farewell Old War Horse, a tribute to the 120,000 Australian waler horses that went overseas in the First World War.

Due to quarantine restrictions, only one horse returned to Australia, "Sandy", the mount of Major-General W.T. Bridges, who died at Gallipoli in May 1915.

Location

Address:Mangan Street, Sound Shell Park , Tongala, 3621
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.249975
Long: 144.948781
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

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 23rd November, 2003
Front Inscription

Plaque 1:

This Memorial Is Dedicated
To The Australian Light Horsemen
And Their Mounts.

Unveiled by Mr. Maurice Watson
23 November 2003 

Plaque 2 :

FAREWELL OLD WAR HORSE

This poem refers to WWI and is inspired by feelings of Australian Light Horsemen who, because of quarantine regulations, had to leave their horses in the Middle East on their return to Australia.  (author unknown)

The struggle for freedom has ended they say,  The days of fatigue and remorse,  But our hearts one and all are in memory today, We are losing our old friend, the Horse.

The old quadruped that has carried us thro'  The sand ridden caravan track  And shared in the charge of the gallant and true  With the boys who will never come back.

Oh those long weary days thro' a miniature hell Short of water and nothing to eat, Each hour we climbed down for a few minutes spell And dozed safe and sound at your feet.

When the enemy shrapnel broke overhead, As we passed up that Valley of Death, You never once slackened in the hail of lead Through the boldest of all held their breath. But we never forgot you, old comrade and friend, When the QM Dump hove in sight.  What the Buckshee to Gippo`s we secored in the end And your rations were doubled at night.

Then came the long journey, the greatest of all, The cavalry stunt of the world.  The sons of Australia had answered the call And the Ensign of Freedom unfurled.

And now we are leaving you footsore and worn To the land where the Mitchell grass grew, Where you frolicked like lambs in the sweet scented moon, To the song of the Dismal Curlew.

So farewell to the Yarraman old warhorse, farewell, Be you mulga bred chestnut or bay.  If there's a hereafter for horses as well Then may we be with you some day.

 

 

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