The Waler Horse, Part 2: Statues & Monuments

 

The Waler Horse took part in the Battle of Beersheba,  in what is considered to be the last significant battle that included horses. The Australian Light Horse Brigade assisted the Allied Forces in the early 19th century in Israel against the Ottoman Empire. At last 70 horses died during the battle, and altogether over 121,300 Waler horses fought in the First World War. However, most of the horses the survived the war were either sold to the British, and horses over 12  were systematically shot, much to the grief of the soldiers, due the high costs of being brought back to their homeland. Only one horse returned to Australia, “Sandy”the faithful steed of Major-General W.T. Bridges,who died in 1915. Today, there is the Waler Horse society, dedicated to history and future of the breed.

The Memorial to the Australian Light Horse

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Located in  Tamworth, New South Wales (NSW), this monument is a dedication to the Waler Horse Breed that originated in NSW. The idea for the monument was discussed in 2001, and sculptor Tanya Bartlett from Newcastle was chosen to create the sculpture. It was cast in 2005. The memorial depicts a Australian Light Horse trooper saying goodbye to his Waler Horse in the Middle East at the end of the Great War. It cost a total of $190,000 USD to create, and the majority of the funds were raised through public donations. On the 29th of October, 2005, the date of the charge at Beersheba, the monument was viewed to commemorate the Waler horses through history.

 

The Waler Horse Memorial In Beersheba, Israel

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The Australian Soldier Park in Beersheba, Israel was designed and finished in 2008 to celebrate the brave troopers and their horses from Australia, who took control of Beersheba from Ottoman Empire. Featuring a monument of an Australian Light Horse Tooper and his Waler mount, plaques in three languages telling the story of the Battle At Beersheba, and a park complete with a playground and picnic area. On October 31st, 2017, one hundred years since the Battle Of Beersheba, there was an reenactment of the famous battle. The memorial was created by foundry Meridian Sculpture and took six months to complete.

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