Major michael shanahan light horse
Bill the Bastard: The Story Of Australias Greatest War Horse by Roland PerryBill was massive. He had power, intelligence and unmatched courage. In performance and character, he stood above all the other 200,000 Australian horses sent to the Middle East in the Great War. But as war horses go, he had one serious problem. No one could ride him but one man, Major Michael Shanahan. Some even thought Bill took a sneering pleasure in watching would-be riders hit the dust.
Bill the bastard is the remarkable tale of a bond between a determined trooper and his stoic but cantankerous mount. They fought together. They depended on each other for survival. And when the chips were down, Bills heroic efforts and exceptional instincts in battle saved the lives of Shanahan and four of his men.
By September 1918, Bill the Bastard was known by the entire Light Horse regiment, who used his name not as an insult, but as a term of endearment. Bill had become a legend, a symbol of the courage and unbreakable will of the Anzac mounted force. There was no other horse like Bill the Bastard.
The Light Horse Collection
Posted November 11, The little-known story of Australia's greatest war horse will be enshrined in the Anzac legend with a life-size bronze statue. Serving in the Middle Eastern theatre of the conflict, the hand-high stallion was notorious for his unrelenting stubbornness, endurance and courage. Bill became a legend at the Battle of Romani, where he and Major Michael Shanahan rescued four Tasmanian troops from certain death on the battlefield. Sculptor Carl Valerius is honouring Bill and Major Shanahan's legacy with a true-to-scale statue depicting their rescue effort during the battle, in which Major Shanahan lost his left leg. Mr Valerius said the statue would help to educate Australians about a widely overlooked part of Anzac history. We've got to know about it; it's got to be in our psyche," he said.
He was the unbreakable horse, the one paired with inexperienced city-types who came to war, for the pleasure of watching them fall off his saddle in seconds. He was one of the , Australian horses who served in the war and were never to return home.
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From pack horse to legend
He was a very good sport. The aptly named Light Horse Hotel in Murrumburrah will host the unveiling of a life-size sculpture commemorating war horse Bill the Bastard, his rider Major Michael Shanahan and the four Tasmanian soldiers they rescued. On 30 August , the very first call up muster for enrolments in the First Australian Horse took place at Harden Murrumburrah. Advertisements were placed in local papers inviting men to join up. They were promised comradeship, sport and good fun.
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