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Friday, October 10, 2014

Hooves@War: Australian Farrier John Jolly Died at Gallipoli



If you happen to be in Canberra, the capital of Australia, on November 3, 2014, look at the Australian War Memorial. It's the Australian equivalent of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Projected on it will be the name of John Joshua Jolly.

John was a young farrier from Walhalla, Victoria who enlisted on September 16, 1914 to join the 8th Light Horse Regiment. By February, he was at sea, on his way to the Middle East.
Like thousands of other young Australians, John Joshua Jolly ended up far from horses. Men and horses alike were shipped to Egypt, to prepare to defend access to the Suez Canal but soon men and horses parted ways. The horsemen were retrained as foot soldiers and sent to Turkey to fight for the place that history would come to know better than any other in that country: “Gallipoli”.
They landed in that fateful spot on the map on April 25. They were still there in December. Gallipoli was a stalemate, but at the cost of more than 8,000 Australian lives.

Australia launched an offensive in August at a point called The Nek, but it wasn’t successful. John Joshua Jolly was killed at The Nek on August 7.
John Jolly was just one of several Australian farriers who died at Gallipoli. They signed up because they knew their skills would be needed to care for the horses that Australia shipped by the thousands to Egypt but it turned out that the war needed foot soldiers more.
Note: While researching this entry in the Hooves@War series, I learned that the Australian War Memorial lists the dead by name only, without mention of rank. For that reason, I haven't included John Jolly's rank, either.


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