Bill the Bastard, a name of endearment born not out of poor character but rather his preference for one ride and one rider only – Major Michael Shanahan – was a World War I legend. At the battle of Romani, in the Egyptian desert, Bill and Shanahan saved the lives of four stranded soldiers when he rescued them from heavy enemy fire by carrying all five men across thousands of yards of Egyptian sand to safety.
Local artist, stone mason and creator of Bill the Bastard sculpture
A Harden-Murrumburrah local and passionate admirer of the Light Horse, Carl Valerius wanted to sculpt a life-size statue to honour one of Australia’s most famous war horses, ‘Bill the Bastard’. Carl planned to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the battle: on 6 August 2016, Carl unveiled the work, commemorating both Bill and the role Harden-Murrumburrah played in founding Australia’s First Light Horse.
Valerius’ life-size bronze statue of Bill the Bastard (who in life weighed 730 kilograms and stood at 17 hands) portrays the famous scene that catapulted Bill into the history books.
A version of the statue can be admired at the Australian Light Horse Memorial in Harden-Murrumburrah.