www.monumentaustralia.org.au

Desert Mounted CorpsPrint Page Print this page

Desert Mounted Corps Memorial
Desert Mounted Corps Memorial

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Glen Yeomans

Desert Mounted Corps Memorial commemorates Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died in service or were killed in action in Egypt, Palestine and Syria during World War One.  More commonly known as the Light Horse Memorial, iit commemorates the men of the Australian Light Horse Brigade as well as the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, the Imperial Camel Corps and the Australian Flying Corps who served in Egypt, Palestine and Syria between 1916 and 1918.

The statue is a copy of one originally forming part of a memorial erected at Port Said in 1932, and which was destroyed during the Suez War of 1956, salvaged and re-erected in Albany in 1964. (There is also a copy of this monument on ANZAC Parade, Canberra).

It shows a mounted Australian Light-Horseman defending a New Zealand Mounted Rifleman standing beside his wounded horse. It is said to be based on an incident in the charge at El Arish in 1917.

On 23 November 1932 it was unveiled on behalf of the Australian and New Zealand Governments by the Australia`s war time Prime Minister W. M Hughes who was on his way back from a League of Nations meeting in Europe. The proceedings were broadcast by radio telephone over the 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometres) between Egypt and Australia, the first such direct broadcast between those two countries.

On the night of 26 December, 1956, during the Suez conflict, an Egyptian crowd attacked the Anzac monument, smashing it with hammers and large stones. Egyptian newspaper Al Akhbar reported the memorial would be blown up with dynamite. Police were posted beside the memorial to protect it and forbade the use of explosives but took no steps to prevent youths defacing it. It was pulled from its base and smashed beyond repair. The mob tore off the legs and tail of the New Zealander`s horse, smashed away the legs, tail and half the head of the Australian`s horse and sawed off the head, arms and legs of the New Zealander. The figure of the Australian light horseman disappeared. When peace returned to the area the United Arab Republic agreed to the request of the Australian and New Zealand Governments to release the damaged memorial and its polished Gabo Island granite plinth which were then shipped to Australia.

Location

Address:Apex Drive, Mount Clarence, Albany, 6330
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.025149
Long: 117.895186
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map

Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Approx. Event Start Date:1916
Approx. Event End Date:1918
Monument Designer:Raymond Ewers & Cliff Reynolds (replica) C. Webb Gilbert, Paul Montford, Sir Bertram Mackennal ( original)
Link:http://www.heritage.wa.gov.au

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 11th October, 1964
Left Side Inscription

THIS STATUE IS A COPY OF ONE ORIGINALLY FORMING PART OF A MEMORIAL WHICH WAS ERECTED AT PORT SAID AND UNVEILED ON 23 NOVEMBER 1932 BY THE RT. HON. WILLIAM MORRIS HUGHES, K.C., M.P.

IT WAS IRREPARABLY DAMAGED DURING THE SUEZ CRISIS IN 1956.

THE MASONRY WAS SALVAGED AND BROUGHT TO AUSTRALIA FOR RE-ERECTION ON THIS SITE WHICH, FOR MANY TROOPS WHO SAILED FROM KING GEORGE SOUND IN 1914, WAS THEIR LAST GLIMPSE OF AUSTRALIAN SOIL.

UNVEILED BY RT. HON. SIR ROBERT MENZIES K.T., C.H., Q.C., M.P. PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA ON 11 OCTOBER 1964

Right Side Inscription

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND 1916 - 1918

ERECTED BY THEIR COMRADES & THE GOVERNMENTS OF AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND IN MEMORY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE, THE NEW ZEALAND MOUNTED RIFLES, THE IMPERIAL CAMEL CORPS & THE AUSTRALIAN FLYING CORPS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES IN EGYPT, PALESTINE & SYRIA. 1916 - 1918.

Source: MA,SKP, HWA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design