One brave military horse made it home

Of the more than 136,000 Australian horses sent to World War 1, only one made it home.

Sandy the gelding was donated to the war effort and found a master in the revered Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges, the founder of Australia's first military college at Duntroon.

Bridges had more than one horse and Sandy, though not a handsome horse, was thought to have been his favourite.

The legend goes that Sandy attended Bridge's funeral following the soldier's death at sea in 1915 from wounds sustained at Gallipoli.

But there is no evidence supporting the romantic theory.

While pictures of the Major General's Melbourne state funeraldo show a horse behind his casket, UNSW visiting fellow Christopher Clark said it could not be Sandy. "The markings (of the two horses) are not the same," he said.

It is possible the gelding was at Bridge's initial burial in Egypt, before the soldiers remains were exhumed and sent back to his family.

Wartime defence minister George Pearce requested the horse be returned as a tribute to Bridges.

Sandy finally returned in November, 1918.