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The Garyowen Memorial

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by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published May 16th 2019
It makes horse sense to visit this site
Horse lovers and show equestrian event participants will no doubt have heard of the "Garyowen", which is held annually at the Royal Melbourne Show.

Planter trough
The horse drinking trough/planter trough in the well maintained gardens.

The 'Garryowen' Equestrienne Turnout (dressage) is the most prestigious turnout event in Australia and is open to lady riders, or Equestriennes, 18 years and over. It was introduced in 1934 in memory of the late Violet Murrell and her beloved Show hack, Garryowen, when she died trying to save it in a stable fire at her Mentone home.

Horse memorial
The illustrated plaque giving the history of the memorial.

The drinking trough was presented to the citizens of Mentone in 1935 by the Purple Cross Society.

Memorial plaque
The original Purple Cross Society plaque.

The Purple Cross Society was formed in 1915 to alleviate the suffering of troop horses sent overseas during World War One. After that war, their service extended to provide care for horses that served essential roles in civilian life. They provided many street-side drinking troughs for working horses.

As a pre-teenager, I can recall seeing the horse trough in Balcombe Road Mentone, adjacent to the railway station. In 1970 it was removed for a car park and was relocated at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

In 1994, it was returned to Mentone and installed in the gardens on Como Parade on the western side of the station.

The plaque commemorating the troughs return.

It is now converted to a planter box, but the original plaque has been retained.

horse trough
The now planter trough showing the location of both plaques.

Horse lovers and those with a sense of history should visit this memorial when in Mentone to reflect on the heroism of those who love their animals.
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Where: The Garyowen Memorial Railway station gardens, Como Parade West, Mentone, Melways. Map 87 A.6
Your Comment
Thanks Neil, I am aware of the Garryowen award and Violet Murrell as I have lived in Mentone for the last 40 years. What I didn't know was the placement of the horse drinking trough. I will visit over the weekend so thank you of the post telling history. You might like to visit Braeside Park and follow the history of Phar Lap and his trainer. Regards David
by johns (score: 2|105) 495 days ago
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