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Author Topic: Only Horse Sent back to australia  (Read 10263 times)
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« on: 15 September 2011, 07:50:52 pm »

Wallis
Forum Member


Australia
2 Posts   Posted - 02/12/2003 :  10:46:09 PM 
After ww1 , according to what I have found, all the horses of the light horsemen were ment to have been shot.
What is the name of the horse? (apparantly the only horse) that was allowed back into australia, and why?

stevebecker
Veteran Forum Member
 


1632 Posts    Posted - 03/12/2003 :  08:31:18 AM 
Wallis,
The premis of your question is wrong.

We have discussed this quiet a bit of this site. check out other coments about this.

The only horse brought back is I think still at Duntroon in a case.

If you cann't find it let us know and we can tell you more.

S.B



stevebecker
Veteran Forum Member
 


1632 Posts    Posted - 03/12/2003 :  10:57:50 AM 
P.S
I have brought back our dission on this subject see General dission page on Disposal of the Horses by Rob Thomas.

The horse that was returned was General Bridges and was kept at Duntroon untill it died then it was stuffed and placed in the museum there. I don't know its name off hand.

I also understand that there maybe another one brought back but don't have anymore about that maybe some other bloke will knon more?

Cheers

S.B

Roy
Forum Member


Australia
77 Posts    Posted - 03/12/2003 :  4:07:39 PM 
From memory, I think the name was "Sandy"


Glyn
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
220 Posts    Posted - 03/12/2003 :  6:11:28 PM 
Hello,
Major General Bridges horse was named Sandy. Sandy was part of the funeral procession for Bridges. The information I have is that following Sandy's death he was put on display in the AWM but once the skin began to deteriorate it was removed from display.

This information has been handed down from a former AWM curator.

I have it on good authority that one of Sandy's hooves is currently being used as a paper weight on the Commandant of RMCs desk.

Tomorrow I'll try to find a copy of Darren Moore's history of RMC and see if there is any additional information on Sandy.

It is a common held belief that Bridges was the only serviceman from WWI to be returned to Australia for burial having being KIA or DOW (as was the case with Bridges). I would argue that a second WWI serviceman was returned for burial. This is the unknown soldier who was returned from France in 1991 and is now buried at the AWM.

Glyn

ghosken
Forum Member


Australia
137 Posts    Posted - 03/12/2003 :  8:12:49 PM 
Yes, Glyn, you are right about the two bodies brought back to Australia. Bearing in mind that the Unknown Soldier has been back for only a small number of years compared to Bridges, then any older reference books will mention just the General. It will take some decades before 'two bodies' becomes conventional wisdom.
Graeme
Glyn
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
220 Posts    Posted - 04/12/2003 :  10:58:32 AM 
Hello,
I have some additional information about Sandy.

On page 186 of Darren Moore's book, Duntroon The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-2001 he describes Bridges' funeral and states the following about Sandy.

'Following the gun carrige came the general's charger 'Sandy', with Bridges' boots reversed in the stirrups, in the traditional manner for a fallen warrior.'

A foot note to this passage says:

'Sandy' was reputedly the only horse of the 160 000 sent overseas during the First World War to return to Australia. After six years in a remount depot, he was put down. His head was preserved and now lies in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, while his hooves were mounted and used as paperweights and inkwells at Duntroon House'

Additional information can be found on page 81 of Chris Coulthard-Clark's book Duntroon The Royal Military College 1911-1986.

'Senator Pearce issued instructions for the return of the general's charger 'Sandy' from the war - said to be the only horse sent from Australia with the AIF which was subsequently returned. Although sources state that the horse lived out its days at the Maribyrnong Remount Depot near Melbourne, there is other evidence that Pearce succeeded in having 'Sandy' pensioned off at Duntroon so that he grazed for some years in paddocks near college and was a familar sight to people passing the place.'

Graeme is quite correct about the perception of soldiers being returned for burial. Thank you for your comment. I should have clarrified my comment by saying that Bridges was the only soldier returned for burial during the conflict. The Unknown Soldier was returned many years later. Moore also give this topic some time. A foot note also on page 186 states:

'Of the 60 000 Australian soldiers who died overseas during the First World War, Bridges was the only one whose remains were returned to Australia for reburial. It was not until 11 November 1993 that another fallen would return home, when an Australian soldier killed in France during the First World War was reburied in the tomb of the 'Unknown Soldier' in the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Memory'

I hoped these snipits of information have been of use to the readers of this topic.

Glyn

Roy
Forum Member


Australia
77 Posts    Posted - 04/12/2003 :  5:23:24 PM 
Did Sandy go through quarantine on return to Australia?

ghosken
Forum Member


Australia
137 Posts    Posted - 04/12/2003 :  10:51:47 PM 
Glyn, the return of the Unkonwn Soldier is quite an interesting topic in itself. John Laffin was against the method by which it was done, as he felt that there was not enough mystery about who the soldier was. For example, taking it from a particular graveyard straight away ruled out those Diggers who were killed and missing on other battlefields. The Brits exhumed around 12 bodies from different cemeteries and had a person blindfolded go into a tent and touch one casket. This became their Unknown Soldier and the other bodies were returned to their resting places. From memory, John wrote about this in 'We will remember them'. What do others think?
Graeme
Glyn
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
220 Posts    Posted - 05/12/2003 :  07:40:49 AM 
Good morning Graeme,
This is indeed interesting. I've just done a quick check on the Internet but I can not find anything about the selection process. I recall reading at the time that an Australian RSM selected the remains from a group of remains while blindfolded. I'll check around and see if I can find a detailed account of the process. I was well away from Canberra at the time and relied on news reports.

I have included the text from the AWM web site about the Unknown Soldier. Given that the comment is made that the original Unknown Soldier may have been of any nationality I would summise that Australia wanted to gurantee that an Australian was returned. Therefore, I assume that the reason for selecting from one cemetry were only Australians were buried was to ensure that the remains selected were Australian.

If I come across anything else I'll let you know.

The following text is from the AWM and can be viewed at:

http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/customs/soldier.htm

'The original unknown soldier was entombed in Westminster Abbey in London on 11 November 1920. His body was selected by a blindfolded brigadier from six that had been recovered from all the major Western Front battlefields. He was assumed to have been British but could have been a Canadian, a New Zealander, or even an Australian, and was intended to represent all the young men of the British Empire killed during the Great War. An unknown French soldier was buried under the Arc de Triomphe on the same day and several other allied nations soon entombed unknown soldiers of their own.

Plans for an Australian unknown soldier were first put forward in the 1920s but it was not until 1993 that an unknown Australian was at last brought home. To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the body of an unknown Australian soldier was recovered from Adelaide Cemetery near Villers-Bretonneaux in France and transported to Australia . After lying in state in King's Hall in Parliament House, he was interred in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial on 11 November 1993. The unknown Australian soldier was buried in a Tasmanian blackwood coffin with a slouch hat and a sprig of wattle, and soil from the Pozieres battlefield was scattered in his tomb.'

To return to the topic of Sandy. I received an email from a chap who had heard a stroy of a horses skeleton that used to be at RMC and thought that this was Sandy. This is not the case.

The horse skeleton is part of another legend of RMC. The story goes that just prior to a leave period a Staff Cadet Casey was locked in a cupboard while skylarking. He was forgotten about and was let in the cupboard and died. On returning from leave his remains were found. It is said that Casey's ghost still inhabits the buildings at RMC and that he will never graduate. To this day a skeleton is at RMC and the Cadets Bar is named after Casey. I have seen a picture of Casey's skeleton atop the Skeleton of a horse. The horse's name is 'Invader' and considered to be Casey's horse.

Kindest regards,

Glyn


Wallis
Forum Member


Australia
2 Posts    Posted - 05/12/2003 :  3:56:05 PM 
I would like to thankyou for you help
This information has been very usefull

garytraynor
Forum Member


Australia
139 Posts    Posted - 13/12/2003 :  6:02:58 PM 
Hi everyone......information that I received from some sources at the War Memorial indicate that whilst "Sandy" was one of Bridges mounts and in fact was the one returned, it was not in Australia in time to pull his coffin through Melbourne at the time of his funeral. I was told that another horse did this task and that Sandy did not make it back until 1916 or 17.........I will confirm this and alter if the information is not correct. Shame Rob Thomas is no longer on this site as he would know.....anyone else out there confirm or deny this about Sandy for me?Huh
Gary Traynor
Eurobodalla Lighthorse Troop

diggerdave
Senior Forum Member
 

Australia
800 Posts    Posted - 14/12/2003 :  9:52:37 PM 
Bridge's mount was not used to 'pull the coffin through Melbourne at the time of his funeral' as implied, rather was led behind the gun carriage bearing Bridge's casket.
I have seen images of the funeral parade, but cannot confirm or otherwise about the stand in horse.
But, then again the people at the AWM are the experts, are they not?
Glyn
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
220 Posts    Posted - 08/07/2004 :  1:08:33 PM 
Hello everyone,
In yesterdays Canberra Times an article appeared concerning MAJGEN Bridge's horse, Sandy. It appears that the AWM is constructing a special cabinet so that Sandy can be placed on display 'from time to time'.

Yours in service,

Glyn

diggerdave
Senior Forum Member
 

Australia
800 Posts    Posted - 08/07/2004 :  9:40:40 PM 
Sandy's stuffed head was on display at the AWM a long time ago.
I am led to believe that the remainder of the horse's body was buried in a grave next to Bridges at Duntroon.
Should be interesting.
A horseless head!
Glyn
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
220 Posts    Posted - 09/07/2004 :  06:42:05 AM 
Diggerdave,
The article said that Sandy was on display until the 1980s. I doubt that he is buried next to Bridge's grave as the most likely location of his death was in Melbourne. Additionally, Bridge's garve is a large area that was well established before Sandy would have died. I've spent many hours at that site (as every Staff Cadet does as they try to commit the incription on Bridge's grave to memory but that is another story).

Glyn

Bryn
Advanced Forum Member
 

Japan
318 Posts    Posted - 09/07/2004 :  7:27:01 PM 
Major-general Bridges was the only soldier of the Great War who died on active service and whose body was returned to Australia during the war.
He therefore remains the only Australian soldier of WW1, who was killed overseas and whose identity is known, to ever have been returned for burial in Australia.

Graeme is right in stating that, since the 'unknown soldier' was only returned to Australia thirteen years ago, the majority of references on the subject do not mention anyone except General Bridges.

Regards,
Bryn

zarni02
Forum Member



2 Posts    Posted - 06/01/2005 :  10:36:10 AM 
There is a book: 'Light Horse by Laurence McCrea, 1986'. It gives an account of a waler called 'Samson' that was found in Egypt and sent back to Australia in 1929. Samson was sent out to pasture in the Hunter Valley.
The book is reputably a truthful account from the author's father, who was in the Boer war and in the Light Horse.

Does anyone have any information on the claims in this book? Seems to have enough detail in the book that it could be checked out.

troopone
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
218 Posts    Posted - 09/01/2005 :  1:15:40 PM 
Heard it before,,,, and never been able to find any documentation to support it. The book has sufficient questionable information in it to suggest this is not supportable either.
Nick
Forum Member



165 Posts    Posted - 11/01/2005 :  9:14:45 PM 
Hello everyone,
On a related tack, I have come across family plot memorials to soldiers who were killed in WW1 and buried o'seas. ie "to the memory of..... who fell at Gallipoli on the 25th April 1915."

Nick

troopone
Advanced Forum Member
 

Australia
218 Posts    Posted - 13/01/2005 :  08:33:36 AM 
They are very common. In the Temora (NSW) Cemetry there is 3 plaques on the family graves of the Baker Family. Father and 2 Sons (from Memory) Baker Street in Temora was renamed in their honour.
In Scone at St Lukes Anglican Church there are 4 headstones to soldiers buried overseas. On remembers 2 brothers, 1 wounded 25th April (died early May) and the other killed at Lone Pine.
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