Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, May 25, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    136,000 horses went overseas with the AIF, only one came back. 'Sandy' the favourite horse of Maj.-Gen. Sir William Throsby Bridges KCB,CMG, was returned to Australia with his body following his death from wounds received in Monash Valley, Gallipoli on May 18 1915. Sandy was finally humanely destroyed after becoming blind and debilitated and his head was displayed in the 1st Australian War Memorial Museum in Sydney before being removed to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

    November this year sees the 91st anniversary of Sandy’s return to Australia, after a tour of duty which included the coast of Gallipoli, Egypt and France.

    Although General Bridges had the use of three horses, Sandy was believed to be his favourite.

    General Bridges died in May 1915 from a wound sustained at Gallipoli and Sandy, who was presumed to be offshore at the time, was eventually shipped back to Egypt. Nearly a year later he was transported to France.

    In October 1917, the Minister for Defence, Senator George Pearce, called for Sandy to be returned to Australia. Copies of the ensuing letters, cables, minutes and memos between the organising parties comprise an official record held in the Memorial archives. This record AWM13 7026/2/31 can be viewed in the Memorial’s Research Centre Reading Room.

    Sandy sailed from Liverpool in September 1918, arriving in Melbourne in November. As the official record says, he was “pensioned off”, or turned out to graze at the Central Remount Depot in Maribyrnong. Blind and unwell, Sandy was put down in 1923.

    Sandy’s claim to fame is not just as the favourite horse of General Bridges, but that, of 136,000 Australian horses sent away to the First World War, Sandy was the sole horse brought back.

    National Archives of Australia Recordsearch
    AWM13 7026/2/31

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