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.