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So far from home

Wednesday, 24th April, 2019

Men of the 10th Battalion with their kangaroo mascot in Egypt. Men of the 10th Battalion with their kangaroo mascot in Egypt.

By Paul Armstrong

For Broken Hill soldiers going to war, the pyramids of Egypt must have been an amazing sight. 

Most of these young men would never have left home before and would only have seen Adelaide in their travels leading up to World War One.

They were assigned to the 10th Battalion and at their camp at Mena over which the ancient pyramids towered they had something that would have meant so much to them for it was a reminder of home.

For the Broken Hill lads, the little pet kangaroo of Mena Camp meant the sweeping plains of the far west with kangaroos hopping across the desert sand, memories of fishing up the river, working on the mines and seeing their family and sweethearts.

Only a few weeks after this photo was taken at Christmas in 1914 our soldiers scrambled onto the beaches at Gallipoli.

When the men went to Gallipoli their kangaroo mascot was given to the Cairo Zoo.

More than 4000 Broken Hill men served in WWI and 365 stayed forever young.

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