Trail through war history

Beryl and Ron Smith with Wanneroo Regional Museum's community history librarian Carol Leigh.
Beryl and Ron Smith with Wanneroo Regional Museum's community history librarian Carol Leigh.

The retired flight sergeant, Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts, Cr Norm Hewer, two Bunbury 10th Light Horse re-enactment troop members and 30 residents attended a trail walk this week to commemorate 70 years since the disbandment of the 10th Light Horse Regiment ” Australia’s last mounted cavalry unit.

Mrs Roberts opened the walk with a brief history of the regiment before laying a wreath at the site memorial and commencing the one minute silence.

Wanneroo history librarian Carol Leigh then led the participants on the 1.3km walk through history. Although nothing remains of the original campsite, plaques locate where the administration area, cookhouse, ammunition dump and stores, the horse lines, latrine and farriers tent would have been in 1944.

Walking the heritage trail in 31C heat, it was not hard to imagine what it would have been like in the bush more than 70 years ago.

The dry hot breeze, the flies buzzing in your face, the sound of animals rustling nearby and the trotting of the horses together with the Wanneroo Museum’s archival photos helped set the scene.

Mr Stuart, who was a corporal in the 10th Light Horse at the age of 17, requested transfer to the air force when the regiment disbanded and retired from service after WWII.

The Merriwa resident also located uniforms, saddlery and equipment from all over WA to restore full gear for 20 mounted men and horses.

The sets were sold to WA museums, WWI and WWII collectors, and given to sons of 10th Light Horse servicemen.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the regiment’s establishment after the outbreak of WWI.

There will be another opportunity to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the disbandment at an open day at Cockman House on Sunday, May 4.

More information is available at www.wanneroo.wa.gov.au/Lifestyle/Events.