Carl Valerius is a Rotarian in the Murrumburrah-Harden RC. This is an amazing project and we look forward to the unveiling sometime in 2019. In the meantime the book Bill the Bastard is a great read.
Bill the Bastard, as he was affectionately known, was a huge 730 kg horse with a cantankerous nature. Bill did not mind hauling 400 kg of heavy equipment uphill or carrying the injured down the hill (one of whom was the famous John Simpson), but he objected vigorously to anyone trying to ride him. Men placed bets on how long anyone could stay on him. The record was a mere two minutes and thirteen seconds by a British jockey who had ridden cup race horses. The average was fifteen seconds! He was indeed a handful for even the most experienced and best horse handlers. Bill would buck, kick and bite and caused many broken bones and other injuries as he threw his charges off. He was considered unrideable but useful in other ways because of his strength. He could run for five to six hours where other horses tired in thirty minutes.
Bill the Bastard is the remarkable tale of a bond between a determined trooper and his stoic but cantankerous mount. They fought together. They depended on each other for their survival. And when the chips were down, Bill's heroic efforts and exceptional instincts in battle saved the lives of Shanahan and four of his men.