The legendary Light Horse mounted infantry brigade which has century-old ties to Wagga Wagga and the Riverina will be honoured with a memorial in one of the city’s most popular recreational areas.
A life-sized statue depicting a trooper and his mount in a controlled gallop will be erected in the Victory Memorial Gardens precinct after Wagga City Council approved the project at its 11 November Ordinary Meeting.
Council also agreed to support the project with a $50,000 grant sourced from the Community Works Reserve, kick-starting fundraising efforts towards an estimated $170,000 to $240,000 needed to complete the project over the next three years.
Council will also assist the committee to identify other grant funding sources for the project.
“It’s a fantastic project which will have great meaning and significance to our local community in Wagga, as well as the wider Riverina region,” Council’s Strategic Asset Planner Ben Creighton said.
“There’s some amazing stories about local lads who joined up to fight in the First World War and many of those were attached to the Light Horse Regiment (LHR).
“It’s a strong part of our country’s history and Wagga residents have played a major part in that across various wars and conflicts. The Light Horse was involved in many battles and the local committee driving this project want the monument to represent all of those moments in history.”
The region’s links to the Light Horse date back to 1889 with the Murrumbidgee Light Horse in Wagga. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 many local men answered the call for King and Country and joined the 1st, 6th and 12th LHR.
These regiments served at Gallipoli (dismounted), in the Sinai and Palestine campaign, and the Western Front.
Council heard an address from Dr Anne Flood, who has researched the history of many local soldiers, and also Patrick Leary, the President Light Horse Memorial Committee, in support of the memorial.
“We want something that will be authentic and represent every battle the Light Horse was involved in,” Mr Leary said.
The project is expected to take three years from fundraising to fruition.
The statue is proposed to be cast in bronze and stand on a sandstone plinth, be 180cm high and approximately 230cm in length.