A century of Western Australian military history will be recognised at a special event in Perth next month, and a group of South West 'troopers' have been called upon to take part.
On October 10 2021, the 10th Light Horse Bunbury Troop will line up alongside fellow troops to celebrate the re-raising of the iconic 10th Light Horse Regiment.
The event will include various army vehicles, a team of 10th Light Horse historical society members in period costume on horses and a large contingent of army personnel, which will parade from Langley Park through Perth City.
Bunbury Troop president Daniel McDonald said the importance of the 10th Light Horse Regiment in the State's history could not be ignored.
"The 10th Light Horse Regiment is the only Western Australian-only regiment," he explained.
"At the time of the first world war, WA was a very young state and there were a lot of young, healthy and able bodied men who were working on farms and stations, so there was a supply of good horse riders.
"Western Australia had enough recruits to form their own regiment, which is very unusual."
The regiment was raised in October 1914 and joined the 3rd Light Horse Brigade in Egypt before serving dismounted at Gallipoli.
The regiment's most famous actions were the charge at the Nek, and Hill 60 in 1915, where Lieutenant V.H. Throssell performed actions for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
He was the only Australian light horseman to be so decorated during the Great War. The regiment also patrolled the South-West coast during WWII.
Mr McDonald said riders were preparing for the event with a series of rides through the South West as part of a horse desensitisation program.
"We take the horses out to get them used to traffic and roads, riding through towns and making them familiar with all the sights and sounds," he said.
"We have a number of troopers in Margaret River and Cowaramup area and we like to conduct some of these rides at different locations to mix it up for both the riders and the horses."
He said horses broke down communication and generational barriers.
"Horses provide a tangible connection to the past, when people see them and can interact with them, and they can see the riders in full uniform.
"They can better understand the sacrifices made and the impact the war had on our young state.
"The idea of every able bodied man from the age of 17 to 40 in your town just leaving one day, and 136,000 horses departing Australian shores, that's an important moment in time to capture."
Mr McDonald said the troop was honoured to be representing the 10th Light Horse regiment in Perth.
"The 10th Light Horse is one of the most decorated and storied regiments in Australian military history," he said.
"We are striving to maintain that history, and track the evolution of the regiment from the earliest days to the latest technology we have now, by getting out there in the public.
"It's a big honour and responsibility to represent the regiment in front of the Army.
"The clank of the metal, the squeak of the leather, the sounds of the horses on the road... it's living history."