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Commemorating SA Light Horsemen

Rundle Park / Kadlitpina (Park 13)

Did you know that this place commemorates the South Australian Light Horsemen who died in the World War I battles in Egypt, Palestine and Gallipoli?

photo-icon Light Horse Memorial at its unveiling ceremony 5 April 1925, State Library of South Australia, B 2601
photo-icon Teachers Training College, now the Hartley Building, State Library of South Australia, PRG 287/1/2/62, circa 1935
photo-icon Kadlitpinna (Captain Jack)
photo-icon John Rundle

The War Horse Memorial - also known as the granite horse trough - commemorates the thousands of horses that served in World War I. Only one out of the 39,000 horses that were shipped from Australia ever came back. This was the last war in which horses were used in battle because of the advent of tanks and modern battle techniques. The War Horse Memorial trough was originally situated in Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga and was moved here in 1967.

The Light Horse Memorial - the obelisk - is dedicated to the South Australian Light Horsemen who died in World War I. Prominent South Australian architect, George Gavin Lawson (1882-1953), designed the memorial. He was born and educated in Edinburgh, served in World War I and was responsible for the creation of several buildings around Adelaide such as the Bice Building at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (1923) and the Hartley Building on Kintore Avenue (1924).

This place also commemorates the passing of Private Albert Whitmore (1899-2002), the last surviving Australian Light Horseman and last surviving South Australian World War I veteran. A plaque in his name was added to the obelisk in 2002 on the 85th anniversary of the Light Horse charge at Beersheba (now in Israel), known as the last great cavalry charge.

The white granite memorial next to the horse trough was added in 1995 by the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, successors to the Light Horse Regiment. Together with the Cyprus Plane tree nearby, the memorial commemorates the 50th anniversary of VP Day (Victory in the Pacific) on 15 August 1945.

This park is named after two historical figures, Kadlitpina and John Rundle. Kadlitpina was known to the colonists as Captain Jack - a well-known Kaurna elder at the time Adelaide was settled, while John Rundle (1791-1864) was one of the original directors of the South Australia Company formed in London in 1835 to promote settlement of the colony.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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