Thursday, 16 February 2012

Horse-riding vintage style, recall of Aussie troops on 16 February 1942 & war horses


The children started horse-riding lessons today.  I start next week!  Since moving to suburban Queensland ten years ago, I have hardly seen a horse, let alone ridden one, but finally I have a found a teacher and am able to use the barter system for lesson for both the children and me.  I would like to say my horse-riding experience will be like this:

glamourous horse riding via yellowtrace tumblr

But I fear I will look more like this:

Alas, the weight I have put on in ten years,  three children and a desk job later means that I can’t even fit into my jodhpurs – and as I will be using a standard saddle, a skirt is out of the question.  My look will be jeans, jodhpur boots, a shirt and a white hard hat.  Even my lovely black velvet helmet is sadly our of date (for Australian safety standards helmets must be five years old or less).

I would love a pair of these vintage jodhpurs from Etsy:

Vintage 1930's Equestrian Horse Riding Pants- Jodphur Pants  1940s Shabby Chic Equestrian Pants

Anyway, until next week, I will make do with some 1940s horse-riding pictures for inspiration:

Girls and horses on a beach

Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn-- Keeper of the Flame

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in Keeper of the Flame

Barbara Stanwyck and son Dion

Barbara Stanwyck and son Dion

Lina Romay gets a kiss of greeting from Bess, the equine star of Gallant Bess

Lina Romay gets a kiss of greeting from Bess, the equine star of Gallant Bess

In the news today, 16 February 1942, after reviewing all of the recommendations and cables, the Australian Chiefs of Staff recommend that “if possible, all Australian forces now under order to transfer to the Far East from the Middle East should be diverted to Australia.”  The Japanese had taken Singapore the day before, and the Japanese flag was now hoisted above the former British governor's residence.  Darwin was only a short distance away. 

Meanwhile concern was growing about the fate of the 130,000 Australian, British and Indian prisoners of war who surrendered in Singapore, following reports of Japanese atrocities during the invasion of Malaya and in other parts of the Far East.  The Bulk of the Allied prisoners, about 50,000, were moved to Changi, the huge ex-British military base at the south-east corner of the island, where conditions were crowded and sanitation lacking.  As well as lack of water and food, POWs faced  Japanese soldiers who believed it dishonourable to surrender when it is still possible to fight.  Reports of Japanese savagery abounded,  such as the  beheading of 200 wounded Indians and Australians left behind  during the retreat from the Muar river, and the bayonetting of more than 600 Aussie POWs in Amboina, in the Dutch East Indies.

What would happen if Japan did reach Australia in the days to come?

Robert Doisneau—The Fallen Horse <br />Paris, 1942&#160;

Robert Doisneau—The Fallen Horse Paris, 1942

If you have time, you can read about the role of horses in WWII here.  Or read a review of the movie War Horse and watch a trailer, here.

Deb xxx

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the horse riding, I'm sure you will be fab at it! XxxX


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