8 November 2017
The unveiling of a ‘War Horse’ statue will be a feature of Hamilton’s Armistice Day commemoration and the start of a range of equine activity this Saturday.
The public event in Memorial Park will open with the Armistice Day Service, which will culminate in a one-minute silence at the ‘eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’, marking exactly 99 years since the end of World War One.
The War Horse will be then revealed, followed by a horse parade to ‘The Mane Event’ being held that afternoon at Claudelands.
“The War Horse will be a fitting recognition of the sacrifices made by our animal allies,” says Mayor of Hamilton Andrew King.
“I recently attended the commemoration of the Battle of Beersheba in Israel, which included the last-ever cavalry charge in history, by the Australian Light Horse against Turkish forces. Horses were used in combat for many centuries, so I am pleased that a hundred years after their final action, Hamilton is ensuring their efforts are never forgotten.”
The 300kg life-size bronze horse created by sculptor Matt Gauldie has been gifted to the city by Waikato Equestrians and the TOTI Trust. It honours the 18,000 horses deployed with Kiwi troops in the South African War and World War One. The horses endured terrible suffering, such that only five came home, but they never failed.
Armistice Day is the annual international commemoration of the end of World War One. New Zealand and Australia primarily mark ANZAC Day on 25 April, but 11 November is the main war remembrance date in Europe. Hamilton’s annual Armistice Day ceremony is organised by Council and the Returned Services Association, with a larger occasion planned for next year’s centenary.
Saturday, 11 November, 2017
Memorial Park, Hamilton East
10.30am: Armistice Day Service.
11.15am: Official unveiling of the War Horse statue.
1pm-4pm ‘The Mane Event’.