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May 6, 2021

Ballina to honour war horses with avenue of trees

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Australian light horsemen on Walers prior to their departure from Australia.(Australian War Memorial)
Australian light horsemen on Walers prior to their departure from Australia.
Photo Australian War Memorial

The Federal Government has stumped up cash to fund an avenue of trees dedicated to Australian war horses.

The $8000 project will be known as  “Walers Way”, and follows a motion from Cr Sue Meehan last September to apply for the funding.

The Waler is an Australian breed of riding horses  that developed from the horses that were brought to the Australian colonies in the 19th century.

The name comes from their early breeding origins in New South Wales; they were originally known as New South Walers.

For their sheer strength, size and endurance, they were widely considered to the best horses for tough conditions.

Of the 160,000 Walers – many of whom were involved in the Battle of Beersheba by 4th and 12th Regiment to take the towns and water wells so desperately in the desert – only one is said to have returned.

Page MP Kevin Hogan announced the funding yesterday saying it was wonderful idea to mark the Centenary of Anzac.

Mr Hogan also announced a $1600 grant to the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum for cabinets to display a number of historic engagements by the Royal Australian Navy during WWI, including HMAS Australia capturing German territories in the South Pacific, HMAS Sydney sinking the Emden, the role of our navy during the Gallipoli campaign and the Submarine HMAS AE2 entering the Dardanelles prior to Gallipoli.

‘The Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program enables our communities to support commemorations at the local level by giving them the opportunity to secure funding for projects that preserve the stories of our local servicemen and women for generations to come,’ he said.

‘These grants will complement the wider series of commemorative activities that have been developed throughout the northern rivers.’

Cr Sue Meehan said it was hoped the Walers Way avenue would be in place for next year’s Anzac ceremony.

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