The Royal New South Wales Lancers

 
 
The Donkey Troop
 
 

WAS THE 1ST LIGHT HORSE EVER MOUNTED ON DONKEYS?

The short answer is ... YES, THEY WERE!

And to prove it, take a look at the photo above, part of the Museum's collection.

During General Allenby's great campaign through Palestine and the Hejaz in World War 1, horses became in very short supply because of poor feed, over work and battlefield casualties. So much so that the 1st Light Horse, part of Harry Chauvel's famous Desert Mounted Corps, formed an experimental donkey mounted Troop. Mounted on white Sudanese donkeys, they were nicknamed Allenby's white mice

Sadly, the experiment was not a success. Not because the Sudanese donkeys turned on displays of donkey stubbornness and would not co-operate. The problem was that the poor little beasts simply could not keep pace with the Troops that remained mounted on horses, and fell far behind over the long rides that were typical of the Light Horse campaign.

Ian Hawthorn, 2020


New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881; Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
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