The bronze statue of a horse commemorates poet and horseman Adam Lindsay Gordon and the horses and mules killed during WWI. The statue depicts a horse going into battle known as a 'charger' mounted on a base of Warrenheip granite. During World War II the artist, Raymond Ewers was made an official war artist with the rank of lieutenant. Funds were raised from visitors to the Adam Lindsay Gordon cottage for the artwork which was unveiled on the centenary of the poet's arrival in Ballarat.
Adam Lindsay Gordon the English born Australian poet spent some time in Ballarat, at one stage owning and running Craig's Stables in the city. He was not a very good businessman and his ventures left him in financial ruin. However his ballads and poems were recognized around the world as strong lines that told the story of the Australian bush. He is the only Australian Poet to be memorialized in Westminster Abbey, UK. The Queen quoted his work in 1992 Queens message..."Kindness in another's trouble, courage in one's own.."
The artwork is of historic and aesthetic significance to the people of Ballarat
Bronze horse on granite plinth
Inscriptions & markings
ERECTED BY/ THE ADAM LINDSAY GORDON SOCIETY/ TO MARK THE CENTENARY OF/ THE POET'S LIVING IN BALLAARAT,/ ALSO AS A MEMORIAL TO THE 958,600 HORSES AND MULES/ KILLED IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR/ INCLUDING 196,000/ THAT LEFT THESE SHORES NEVR TO RETURN./ "THE LAY OF THE LAST CHARGER"/ FORWARD, THE TRUMPETS WERE SOUNDING THE CHARGE./ THE ROLL OF THE KETTLEDRUM RAPIDLY RAN/ THAT MUSIC, LIKE WILDFIRE SPREADING AT LARGE/ MADDEN'D THE WAR HORSE AS WELL AS THE MAN./ WHERE ARE THEY? THE WAR-STEEDS WHO SHARED IN OUR GLORY/ THE "LANERCOST" COLT AND THE "ACROBAT" MARE,/ AND THE IRISH DIVISION "KATE KEARNEY" AND "RORY" AND RUSHING "ROSCOMMON" AND EAGER "KILDARE"./ WE TOO, SPRUNG FROM THE LOINS OF ISHMAELITE STALLIONS,/ THE RENDERING OF BLACKTHORNS AND RATTLE OF RAILS./ AND WHAT THEN? THE COLOURS REVERSED, THE DRUMS, MUFFLED/ THE BACK NODDING PLUMES, THE DEAD MARCH AND THE PALL/ THE STERN FACES, SOLDIER-LIKE SILENT UNRUFFLED,/ THE SLOW SACRED MUSIC THAT FLOATS OVER ALL/ BY A.L. GORDON/ UNVEILED BY/ HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF BALLAARAT,/ CR. M.J.BROWN/ 1969/ PRESIDENT CR.W.E.ROOF C.B.E. SECRETARY P. ABSOY. ESQ.