Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The sculpture commemorates Sandy who was the only one of Australia’s 169,000 war horses to return home from World War One.  Four white cypress trees, which were on the defence site during the Great War, will also be planted and a post and rail fence built and a heritage storyboard installed. 

The statue is a life size horse and was unveiled on the eve of the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba on the 30th October 2017 and dedicated to the Australian Light Horse.  The statue was designed and fabricated by BiGfiSh from laser cut corten steel, and a special surface treatment applied to give Sandy his unique patina.

The "Friends of Sandy" ­received $17,622 from the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program to pay tribute to the trusty steed and the contribution of the Australian Light Horse.

Sandy had been assigned to the commander of the Australian 1st division, the first ashore at Gallipoli. It was the dying wish of General Sir William Bridges, who was shot by a sniper, that his horse be returned to Melbourne at war’s end. Sandy lived out the rest of his days at the Army ­Remount Depot in Maribyrnong until he was put down in 1923.

Note: The statue has a temporary home next to the Maribyrnong Community Centre on Randall Street. Once the Maribyrnong Defence Site is decontaminated and redeveloped, it will be relocated to its permanent location at the heritage protected Fisher Stables.


Address:Riverbank Drive & Randall Street, Maribyrnong Community Centre, Maribyrnong, 3032
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.768848
Long: 144.886574
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2017-10-30
Front Inscription

Sandy - only one returned

This memorial to Sandy, and the other Australian horses sent to war, stands on the land that was once part of the Remount Depot in Maribrynong, established in 1912, where horses were trained for overseas service in WW1.

Of about 128,000 horses sent overseas from Australia during WW1 only one returned - Sandy, a bay gelding with a gentle temperament donated to the war effort by Francis O`Donnell from Tallangatta in north east Victoria.

Despite increased mechanisation horses were still important in the war.  The Light Horse was based here for trainig but horses were also trained for many other tasks, such as pulling field guns, supply wagons and ambulances.  

At the end of the War none of these horseswere allowed to come back to Australia because of strict quarantine laws.  Sandy was spared because he had become the favourite horse of Major General William Throsby Bridges.

Major General William Throsby Bridges, KCB, CMG

General Bridges raised the Australian Imperial Force in 1914, effectively the first Australian Army and the first body of men to go to WW1 from Australia.  He was also instrumental in setting up the Royal Military College, Duntroon, which opened in 1911, and was its first Commandant for several years before the war.

Having arrived at Gallipoli on April 25th, 1914, General Bridges made it a habit to inspect the front lines every morning.  Within three weeks, on May 15th, he was hit in the leg by a Turkish sniper and was dead three days later.  His body was sent back from Egypt to Australia for burial at Duntroon, the only Australian soldier whose body was brought home.  Sandy was put in the care of Lieutenant Colonol Leslie Whitfield, and Australian army Veterinary Corps officer and suffered mustard gas damage near the front.

In 1918 the Australian Government also brought Sandy home, accompanied by his devoted groom, Private Archibald Jordan.  Although intended for Duntroon Sandy lived out his days until 1923 in the paddock of the Maribyrnong Remount Depot where he is buried.



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