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Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


As I work through this subject and try to dispel the "urban myth" that the Australians shot their horses, I keep coming up against a culture that wont accept the research. If anyof you have any further information on the disposal of horses at the end of WWI could you let me know as it will greatly help.

As yet we have been unable to find one documented case of a soldier shooting his own horse.
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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


Rob,
I am madly looking through the books I have here trying to find something of help to you - but all I have found is a reference below in Patsy Adam Smiths book The Anzacs on page 312 -
which I'm afraid isn't what your looking for - I will keep looking though -

 "Before they left for home arrangements had to be made for the disposal of the horses; they would not be returned to Australia. There were plenty of rich Arabs and Syrians anxious to buy them but the Light Horsemen had seen to much of their cruelty to animals. The troops raised such an uproar at any suggestion that heir mounts be left at the mercy of the Arabs that the authorities decided to destroy them. A final race meeting was arranged, the brave horses that had crossed deserts were given heir final gallop, and the day after the races they were taken out onto a high plain and shot. 'With our horses gone, our camp seemed gloomy and depressing, ' Olden wrote. 'They had been part and parcel of our very lives all these years and now - the death sentence.'

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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


Another snippet -

At the end of the First World War Australians had 13,000 surplus horses which could not return home for quarantine reasons. Of these 11,000 were sold, the majority as remounts for the British Army in India. Two thousand were cast(selected for disposal)
  for age or infirmity. About 200�250 were destroyed (without permission) by their lighthorse owners.
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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


Just another thing - have just uploaded a story a soldier wrote about his thoughts on leaving behind the horses. No mention of them being shot in this one
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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


The Patsy Adam Smith story is the usual claptrap that is promulgated. THanks for the other posts,,,, I had not seen the 2nd one,,, I had arrived at a figure of 2500 by a different means but will work with 2000 with a bigger smile as it shows that my work was a little conservative!!
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posticon Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


It is a pitty so much stock has been placed in the work of PA Smith emoticon Much of her work is poorly researched hearsay rather than factual information.
PB
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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


If there is faults in Patsy Adam Smiths work it may have come from the fact she was too fond of the men she wrote about. In all research and reading it is important not take the written word as [sign in to see URL] what you read and try to prove things that don't sound right to you . Patsy A Smith has left our future generations a wonderful legacy by recording the words of the men who were actually at the war. We can't ask them anymore - so this part of her work will always be [sign in to see URL] saying her work was hearsay - it was the mostly the hearsay of men who were there - and who are we to disagree with them.........
I would love to know the parts of her work you disagree mostly with
Sam
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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


Not so long ago I contacted Anzac House re/ 37th Battalion and book I am writing - when I asked my query the response I recieved from the person in charge was " What - You !!!.....writing a book about about WW1" at the time I was quite humiliated by the response and started questioning if maybe I was walking a path in the wrong direction- a women in a mans world it seemed- no help was forth coming. The very next day I was checking resources available and stumbled across recorded stories of a 37th Man by Patsy Adam Smith - held at the State [sign in to see URL] recording was made available to me and I will be using the information in my upcoming book ,as it is straight from the soldiers mouth - Patsy does not appear at all in these tapes - she actually had the soldier's son do the interview as his father was more comfortable talking to him, she just arranged the tapes and equipment to be used. Maybe this has clouded my judgement on her - but at the time it was a great incentive to keep on trying - If it wasn't for her work this story would have been lost forever - and believe me it is a story worth repeating.
Maybe her judgement in writing was clouded but I thank God for her influence in helping a women feel she can walk in this mans world of the [sign in to see URL] is not an easy path to tread - but once it gets hold of you - it is just as hard to let go
Kate

Last edited by anzac research, 5/19/2003, 6:26 pm
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Keep up the good work,,,,, dont let anyone tell you you cant write a military history because you are a woman,,, but be aware that if you do make errors, being a woman is the thing they will blame!!

But make sure you pursue the facts, even at the expense of what you think is a good story because sometimes it ends up that truth is more exciting than the fantasy.
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Re: Disposal of Horses at the end of WWI


Okay - now back to Disposal of Horses - Rob I am still looking about - I have a feeling somewhere in my horrible mess here I have more references to it - I have made an ever big mess looking for it and still no luck.......
but will keep my eye out. How did your interest in this start? It really does go against the common myth doesn't it
Kate
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