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Voices from the Saddle Event

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The NSW Lancers Museum acknowledges Hydraulic Pumps Australia for their generous assistance

Voices from the Saddle will be held in the Drill Hall, Lancer Barracks, Parramatta' on the weekends 28/29 April and again 12/13 May 2018, at 1100 and again at 1330 hrs on each day.

Normal Museum entry charges ($8 (adult), $6 (<12 yo/Concession), $15 (family), $5 group bookings (10+)) will apply, with National Trust members charged the concessional rate of $5 per head.

Please book either by email or call 0439 573 126.

Voices from the Saddle features NSW Lancers speaking out through their diaries, letters, poems and scrapbooks to tell their stories of being an Australian soldier, on active service in Australia's earliest military actions and on glittering ceremonial duties, from the late nineteenth century to the end of World War 1. Visitors to the acccompanying exhibition will also have the opportunity to read from the military diaries or letters of their ancestors, to provide further insight into the lives of Australian soldiers at the turn of the twentieth century.

During the event, we will bring to life the voices and culture of Australian soldiers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, through readings from their letters, diaries, poems and scrapbooks, with associated rare, often unique items from the Museum's heritage listed collection available for study.

Corporal Brady was a young Lancer from Singleton who, in 1897, Suddenly he found himself catapulted from rural NSW to London, centre of the then most powerful empire in the world, as a member of the Lancers’ Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee contingent. You will listen to his personal, awe struck experience riding in the Jubilee procession and later viewing the Spithead review.

Through period British and Australian press cuttings follow the tragic story of Corporal Ben Harkus, a Lancer from Parramatta, from lauded as one of the finest military horsemen in the British Empire, through branding as a coward for choosing his family over his Regiment, to national remorse at his death from enteric fever (typhoid) at Bloemfontein in 1900.

Winston Churchill is probably the most famous escape from a Boer prisoner of war camp. However it was two Lancers, part of the first Colonial volunteers to see action in South Africa, who made the first successful escape of any British or colonial soldiers. Listen to Trooper Milverton Ford, one of those Lancers, recount his experience of this great escape from his persona I diary.

Jonny Boer and Driver Smith are two famous Banjo Patterson Boer War poems. But what YOU might have read is NOT what came out of Banjo's head. We will read you the AUTHENTIC Banjo poems before they were sanitised by his editors, Angus and Robertson, written and signed by Banjo in the diary of Major George Lee, commander of the Lancers in South Africa. Banjo accompanied the Lancers to the Boer War aboard the SS Kent.

Troopers Barracluff, Hobbs and Sergeant Grimwade each wrote a diary while serving at Gallipoli. Be touched to hear how mateship survives death; the legendary Australian soldiers' humour in the face of danger and how soldiers' different personalities are reflected in the ways they wrote their diaries.

We have recently commemorated the centenary of the charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba which has passed into Australian legend. Participate in the charge through the eyes of Trooper McArthy of the 12sup Light horse, who recorded his experiences in his diary. lt won't take long he was more concerned with what happened the following day when burying some of his mates. When in action, you don't know you are becoming part of a national legend

We will experience a route march in which Private Warre took part in Egypt in 1916.When you've experienced the horrors, reflect on the fact it was merely in training. Might explode the view that it was only the British High Command who were disinterested in the welfare of their soldiers.

Do you know about the Commonwealth of Australia's first constitutional crisis, when the Victorians talked about an Australian military dictatorship? George Lee, by then a Lieutenant Colonel, will explain through his scrapbook how he was at the centre of it.

And, by the by, if you've never seen a period copy of the Treaty of Versailles, the treaty that ended WW1 and arguably started WW2. You can study one complete with maps that show the transformation of Europe in 1919

© New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated
ABN 94 630 140 881 - - - Site Updated January 2018
Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia
Telephone +61 (0)405 482 814, Facsimile +61 (0)2 4733 3951 E-mail:
For Regimental enquiries call: +61 (0)2 9635 7822