Murrumburrah sculptor Carl Valerius has laboured hard over five months to produce a brilliant, life-sized statue of Bill The Bastard, Shanahan and the four troopers. It will be unveiled at Murrumburrah at 1 a.m. on Saturday 6 August 2016.
This is a centennial commemoration of one of the most important historic achievements in Australian history. The Battle of Romani began at 1 a.m. on 4 August 1916. 1700 troopers of the Australian Light Horse, commanded by the greatest General of the Middle East War, Harry Chauvel, fought off a Turkish Army of 26,000 soldiers in the Sinai. The Turks, after smashing the Allies on Gallipoli, and defeating the British in Iraq early in 1916, were confident about taking Egypt, then mandated to the British.
If the Turks had taken Romani, they would have marched on to Cairo, just 100 kilometres away, without more than token opposition. In effect, this exclusively Australian operation, for what it is worth, saved Egypt for the British Empire, an important win for the Alllies at the time. The most inspiring moment at Romani was the courageous work under enemy fire mid-battle of Major Michael Shanahan and his mighty mount, BILL THE BASTARD. Four Tasmanian troopers, stranded on the battlefield without their mounts, climbed onboard BILL, who carried Shanahan and the troopers to safety.
Sculptor Carl Valerius
Carl Valerius, designed and created this imaginative memorial consisting of a large granite block with bronze statue and reliefs, together with a wall of remembrance and an allegorical garden near Murrimboola Creek. The memorial features bronze sculptures of Corporal William Bradford of the 1st Australian Light Horse, the 'Retreat at Romani' with horse, 'Bill the Bastard' carrying five men, and a diorama of Beersheba.