South African War Memorial

Gavin Kerslake

Adelaide, Australia

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The South African War Memorial (also known as the Boer War Memorial or, prior to 1931, the National War Memorial) is an equestrian memorial dedicated to the South Australians who served in the Second Boer War of 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902. It was the first war in which South Australians fought, and 1531 men were sent in nine contingents, with over 1500 horses to accompany them. Over 59 South Australians died in the war.
The memorial is located in front of the main entrance to Government House, one the most prominent buildings in Adelaide, on the corner of North Terrace and King William Street. It was constructed with a budget of £2500 raised through public donations, and was designed by the London-based sculptor Adrian Jones. While the statue itself was not intended to represent any particular soldier, there is evidence suggesting that the head of the rider was based on that of George Henry Goodall.
The statue was unveiled by the Governor of South Australia, George Le Hunte, on 6 June 1904. It has since become one of the focal points for the Anzac day marches, as well as being regarded as one of the most “eye-catching” and significant statues in the city. As such, it was added to the national heritage listing in 1990.

The photo is taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II using RAW format.
Tripod.

A popular belief in the United States is that if the horse is rampant (both front legs in the air), the rider died in battle; one front leg up means the rider was wounded in battle or died of battle wounds; and if all four hooves are on the ground, the rider died outside battle. However, there is little evidence to support this belief.

The alleged rule is especially held to apply to equestrian statues commemorating the American Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg,but there is at least one instance where the rule does not hold for Gettysburg equestrian statues, and syndicated newspaper columnist Cecil Adams claims that any correlation between the positioning of hooves in a statue and the manner in which a Gettysburg soldier died is a coincidence.

Artwork Comments

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