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January, 1915, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade paraded through the streets of Melbourne. See a clip of the historical footage on YouTube.
100 years later, Michael Whitehead, part of the Creswick Light Horse Troop, re-enacted the route the brigade took on his own horse, Winifred, in honour of the men and their horses who served so long ago. Michael started his journey at 11am at the end of Spencer street and made his way up to Collins St and then on to ANZAC house.
With the assistance of a grant from Harness Racing Victoria (http://www.hrv.org.au/hrv/index.cfm/racing/life-after-racing/) the Troop has been able to purchase and install a purpose constructed metal roundyard with sand surface. This will make the retraining and educating of Troop horses, and their acquainting with riders, so much easier and safer. A huge thanks to all the members who gave up their time over the past few weekends to prepare the area and erect the roundyard.
The organisers had asked for Walers and Lighthorsemen to attend the event as this year’s theme was “Hoofprints on the Sand” and focused on the men of the Australian Light horse leaving the shores of Australia to fight overseas. CLH members Chase Day, Keith Day, Brendan Heaphy, Rob Powell and Mark Poutney attended along with Troop horse, Smokey, and Walers Jamiesun, Cracker and Royston. The weather was terrible, very windy and quite cold. The horses were quite unnerved by the windy conditions and the kite surfers. But, with admirable fortitude the group honoured their commitments staying through the day and introducing the evening performance (with its bizarre dancers and very unnerving horse puppet).
Tom Rogan, Lorna Gillies, Alex Chandler, Jessie Koene, Dean McGuire, David Hutchinson, Nikki Shanahan, David Hutchinson, John, Judy, Matt Leggett, Dave Rees, Bruce McClean, Michael Whitehead, Mark Campbell and Ellie Wallace went to provide a bit of Light Horse colour for Kilmore Show. Dave Rees brought up his collection of Light Horse equipment which attracted a lot of attention. In addition, the Troop paraded up and down the main straight of the track and Alex Chandler and “Boze” did a Tentpegging display. The Troop also formed a Troop Line in front of the main grandstand to enable photo opportunities.
The well known Horse Expo “Equitana” came to Melbourne in November 2014 for 4 days. On the 20th November, CLH Members Chase Day and Matthew Wynne were there with the Waler Horse Society. As part of the event, Matthew presented his Waler “Warhorse” in Light Horse gear. A very moving part of the demonstration was when Matthew lay Warhorse down, in moving tribute to the incredible bond many men had with their horses. This was very well received by the audience and many visited our stand to talk about the Light Horse and the Walers that carried them.
Mark Poutney, Mark Campbell, Faye Threlfall, Geoff Threlfall, Ellie Wallace, Lea Freeman, Tom Rogan, Lorna Gillies, Dean McGuire, Alex Chandler, Gary Chandler, Kelly Smith, Nikki Shanahan, David Hutchinson, Matt Leggett, Bruce McClean, Brendan Heaphy, Al, Michael Whitehead, Judy and John all made the long trek up to Nagambie to participate in a parade and service the RSL we holding. Everything went well despite the changes in starting time, starting place and the rather long service. The Troop members were very well received by the members of the public, members of the Armed Forces and the organizers. Even the Mayor of Nagambie took a selfie with some of the Troop! The Troop led the Parade with a Colour Party and provided a catafalque party during the ceremony while the mounted Troop members stood to.
Tuesday 11th November, the Upper Primary Class from Pine Creek School, travelled to Adelaide River War Cemetery their teachers and Creswick Light Horse member Mr Barry Burroughs, who works at the school, to participate in the Remembrance Day service.
Mark Pountney, Ed Koene, Lea Freeman, Dean McGuire, Gary Chandler and Suzi Koene traveled to Bendigo to participate in the Unknown Ceremony as part of the Lodge’s Remembrance Day ceremonies. It was a good ceremony and very well received by the audience. As a result of its success the Troop has received a request to do the same at Sandringham Lodge in April 2015.
This event was un-mounted but involved trains!!!! Members of the Creswick RSL Light Horse Troop and the Australian great War Association (AGWA) were called on to re-enact the departure of troops from Central Victoria at Castlemaine and Maldon. (photo credits: Keith Day and Rob Powell)
A recreation of a recruiting station was set up and there was a parade down the main street (photo credits: Tania Dudzik).