1st Australian Light Horse & Australian Light Horse MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson / Sandra Brown

The 1st Australian Light Horse and Australian Light Horse Memorial commemorates the birthplace of the 1st Australian Light Horse at Murrumburrah in 1897.

Local artist and stone mason, Carl Valerius, designed and created this imaginative memorial consisting of a large granite block with bronze statue and reliefs, together with a wall of remembrance and an allegorical garden near Murrimboola Creek. The memorial features bronze sculptures of Corporal William Bradford of the 1st Australian Light Horse, the 'Retreat at Romani' with horse, 'Bill the Bastard' carrying five men, and a diorama of Beersheba. 

On August 30th 1897, the very first call up muster and enrolments to the 1st Australian Horse took place at Harden-Murrumburrah. Advertisements were placed in local papers inviting men to join in and they were promised comradeship, sport and good fun. Of the 80 who arrived on the day, 60 local men were picked to join as volunteers. They had prove themselves as competent riders and had to provide their own horses.


Address:Albury Street (Burley Griffin Way) near Bathurst Street, Harden, 2587
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.549475
Long: 148.350064
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Designer:Carl Valerius (Murrumburrah, NSW)
Artist:Carl Valerius (Murrumburrah, NSW), Anne Marie Ingham
Monument Manufacturer:Garage Art Foundry


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th August, 2001
Front Inscription

On August 28, 1897 these men answered a recruitment call for enrolment into the 1st Australian (Volunteer) Horse.   

The muster at the Harden - Murrumburrah racecourse was the very first to take place in the formation of this famous unit. Many fought in the Boer War.

The 1st Australian (Volunteer) Horse was one of the founding units which made up the Australian Light Horse when all mounted troops were amalgamated in 1903 as a result of Federation. 

[ Names ]

Left Side Inscription

"Engaging the Turks"
31st October 1917

Hand to hand fighting between men of the Australian Light Horse and the Turkish defenders of the wells of Beersheba.

Sculptors :

Carl Valerius : Men & Equipment
Anne Marie Ingham : Horses
Casting: Garage Art Foundry 

Back Inscription

To the memory of 513 men and 1100 horses of the 2 / 1 North Australia Observer Unit (under the command of Major W.M. Stanner) who patrolled our Northern Australian coast during the war against Japan 1942 - 1945. 

50 horses drowned, were taken by crocodiles, or were destroyed after injury or other causes.

To those must be added their foals that could not be reared.  

They gave their lives for Australia

Lest We Forget

Right Side Inscription

"Retreat at Romani"
4th August, 1916

Major Michael Shanahan, D.S.O. and "Bill the Bastard" rescued four men who had lost their horses and faced certain death  under fierce fire from the Turks

Sculptors :

Carl Valerius : Men & Equipment
Anne Marie Ingham : Horses
Casting: Garage Art Foundry 

Inscription in Proximity

Plaque :

To the everlasting memory of all those men and horses of the 21st Riverina 
Darwin, Bogainville, New Britain, Borneo

Their most honoured member Reg Rattey V.C.
Lest We Forget
Laid by comrades
20 - 03 - 2004

Plaque :
1st. & 3rd. Pack Transport Coys  2nd A.I.F.
Moresby      Kokoda Track
Milne Bay    Wau
New Guinea

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au