In the First World War 136,000 “walers” (the general name applied to Australian horses abroad) were sent overseas for use by the Australian Imperial Force and the British and Indian governments. Only one horse from the 136,000 made it back to Australia. His name was Sandy.
Sandy belonged to Major General Sir William Bridges, who was killed in battle at Gallipoli. A gentle bay standing 16 hands high, he was the Major’s favourite charger and it was his dying wish to have his beloved horse returned home to Australia to enjoy a long and happy retirement.
When the Major died, Sandy was put into the care of Captain Leslie Whitfield and was transported to Egypt then onto France in March 1916. It wasn’t until the following year that the Australian authorities were able to honour the Major’s dying wish and granted Sandy a safe passage to return home to Australia.
The big bay lived out his days munching on green grass at Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west near Highpoint, around a place named Remount Hill near the Maribyrnong River, where many thousands of horses including Sandy, had earlier begun their long one-way journey.
Highpoint is proud to present the Sandy commemorative sculpture as part of its Highpoint Art Journey.