Violet & William MurrellPrint Page Print this page

16-November-2014 (Sandra Brown)
16-November-2014 (Sandra Brown)

Photographs supplied by Blath Parlan / Sandra Brown / Neil Follett

The Garryowen Horse Trough commemorates Violet and William Murrell.

In 1933 Violet Murrell ran into a burning Mentone stable in a bid to save her three-time Royal Melbourne Show champion saddle-horse Garryowen who also perished. She was followed by her husband Bill, a horse trainer who tried to save her life, but sadly both perished in the blaze. Mrs Murrell dreamed of becoming a race jockey and spent her time fighting for the rights of women. Her campaign to lift a ban on female riders helped shape racing rules.

The trough was originally placed in Balcombe Road outside the Mentone Railway Stations in 1935 by the Purple Cross Society. In the 1970`s it was removed to make way for a car park , and in 1988 was located at the Melbourne Showgrounds. It was moved back to the station in 1994 and rededicated. Garry Owen is also commemorated by the dressage competition at the Royal Melbourne Show.

As a tribute to the heroism of the late Mr and Mrs William Murrell, who lost their lives in an attempt to save two horses from a burning stable in March last year, a drinking trough, built by the Purple Cross Service of Victoria, was unveiled at the corner of Balcombe Road and Swanston Street, Mentone on the afternoon of Sunday, February 24. Mrs H. Farmer, mother of the late Mrs Murrell, cut the ribbon, which released the valve controlling the water supply. Brandy, the late Mrs Murrell's favorite pony, was the first horse to drink from the trough.
Weekly Times (Melbourne), 2 March 1935. 


Address:Balcombe Road & Como Parade West, Mentone Railway Station Gardens , Mentone, 3194
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.98159
Long: 145.064772
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 24th February, 1935
Front Inscription

Erected by the Purple Cross Society of Victoria

To the memory of Mr & Mrs W. Murrell who in March 1934 lost their lives attempting to rescue two dearly loved horses from a burning stable

Plaque :

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria in tribute to Mrs. Violet Murrell conducts the Garryowen Equestrian Turnout Event
each year at the Royal Melbourne Show

The Society returned this trough to the people of Mentone on the 60th anniversary

March 1994

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