A re-enactment of Jack Simpson and his donkey will feature at the land and air spectacular this weekend.
A re-enactment of Jack Simpson and his donkey will feature at the land and air spectacular this weekend. Contributed

War comes to life

AUSTRALIA'S largest ever wartime re-enactment at Helidon this weekend pays homage to the millions of animals lost at war.

A parade of animals from Australia's war history features prominently in this year's annual Emu Gully Air and Land Spectacular.

In the First World War, eight million horses on both sides died in the conflict, as well as other animals such as mules, donkeys, camels and dogs.

Despite the introduction of mechanisation in the Second World War, horses were still used extensively, particularly in mountainous terrain and areas unsuitable for heavy vehicles, with 1.1 million horses used by the Germans alone.

The event on Saturday and Sunday will honour these forgotten heroes in perhaps the largest and only parade of its kind, with a full display of gun horses, pack horses and Light Horse remounts, all in restored battle harness and saddles.

The event is a trip back in time with Australia's most significant historical wartime events re-enacted in style with the country's largest collection of guns, tanks, troops and planes battling it out.

The animal parade will feature a camel carrying an original First World War desert field medical pack, pack mules, Simpson and his donkey, dogs and pigeons.

Event director Barry Rodgers said recognition was rarely given to the amazing contribution made by animals during the wars.



Relive Frankie Valli's big hits when regional tour hits city

premium_icon Relive Frankie Valli's big hits when regional tour hits city

Tap your toes along to Sherry and Can't Take My Eyes Off of You

Trio rams vehicle into Orion, smashes into jewellery store

premium_icon Trio rams vehicle into Orion, smashes into jewellery store

It's one of many jewellery stores to be hit across the southeast.

Teenager's bright idea to assist sick patients

premium_icon Teenager's bright idea to assist sick patients

He will donated 20 per cent of profits to the Leukaemia Foundation.