Riverina residents will soon have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a World War I battle in the flesh during a weekend of war reenactments.
When father-of-two Luke Dowell passed away last year, his wife and his best friend became determined to make one of his dreams a reality.
Kerrie Stewart says Gundagai Remembers is just that – a way to honour the Australian Light Horse and her husband’s passion for keeping their stories alive.
“He was absolutely loved the Light Horse, he lived and breathed it, and he was really passionate about keeping their history alive and making sure we didn’t forget what our servicemen had been through,” Ms Stewart said.
“He had family that served in the Light Horse, so from that he started to research a lot about it, and he was also just such a horse person, too.”
Ms Stewart said the weekend would give people a rare opportunity to see what life was really like in the trenches.
“We want to give people a glimpse of what life was like for them – there’ll be two trenches, a battlefield in the middle, and we’ll be reenacting two World War I battles on that ground,” she said.
“We'll also have trench tours throughout the day, so kids and parents will get taken by our reenactors through the trenches so they can get an idea of what life was like in there.”
The weekend is being organised by the 7th Light Horse Gundagai Troop and will also feature a rare Trooping of the Colour.
President Wes Leseberg, who was Mr Dowell’s best friend, said Australians would only rarely get to witness that ceremonial display.
“You won’t see the Trooping of the Colour performed here in in Australia, you’d have to go to England to see that otherwise,” Mr Leseberg said.
“It’s pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if you’re into military history or if you just want to see an impressive spectacle.”
Gundagai Remembers is on September 1 and 2. Click here for more details.