Jill Mather, a former journalist and teacher, is now retired and besides researching and writing about wartime animals, she also writes children’s books, plays and articles. Her mission is to preserve the knowledge of the role animals played in warfare and highlight the need to protect what is left of our heritage animals. Jill was nominated for the Australia Day Awards in 2015 and presented with the Arts and Culture Award (Wyong Shire Council).

Jill's books about animals in wartime are available via our secure online shop. If you need to contact us for any reason, you can do so here or call us on 1800 628 058.

Trade enquiries welcome and should be made via this link.

The Walers’ Last War
Australian heritage Waler stock horse WWII

ISBN 9781925522-396
RRP $30, 168pp, many illustrations, published August 2017


After World War I the Australian Waler horses returned to their former role mainly as stock horses. The Walers’ reputation had been established as tough and resilient, and they were now sought after in the export trade. Thousands left our shores bound for India, Japan, New Caledonia, China, and other foreign shores.

But it wasn’t long before their future would once more be tied to the battle field. With World War II raging around the world they were rounded up anew, examined for health and conformation defects, broken in and put into training camps prior to being shipped across oceans.

Again, the Walers ended up in hostile environments, this time places such as the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea where they were used not only as pack horses, but also as mounts by the Japanese in their sweeping ambush of the South Pacific Islands.

This book records and documents the journey of the military Waler horse in World War II.

Follow the Flag
Colonial Horses in South Africa

ISBN 978-0-9803527-7-1
RRP $30, 206pp, many illustrations, published March 2016

This new book documents stories gleaned from old records, letters and other archives. It contains many rare photos, poems and drawings.

This is a book about horses and the role they played in the most difficult of wars. Recording their journey has often been overlooked, or simply forgotten. It tracks their departure from ship to shore – from paddock to Pretoria and beyond.

You will gain an insight into the many facets of animals at war and in doing so will help preserve their important story which has formed part of our Colonial heritage. The British Empire call went out, and Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and others answered. Like all wars, it was to prove a blood bath on both sides. This is their story.

Gallipoli's War Horses
From the Dardanelles to Damascus

ISBN 978-0-9803527-5-7
RRP $30, 220pp, many illustrations, published march 2014

The story of the horses used at Gallipoli during WWI is little known and it will astound most readers to learn that several thousand horses were landed on this mountainous terrain. Here they performed an important role hauling the big artillery guns into position as well as other vital tasks.

The lot of the mules and donkeys was remarkable as well. They laboured hard and long, carrying ammunition, water, food, and medical supplies whilst constantly under fire.

Much has been written about the soldiers, the battles and the human casualties, but very little has been written about the animals that were there, too. This book commemorates their role and preserves their stories in text and many photos.

Also available as an eBook!

War Horses
Hoof Prints in Time
Amazing true stories of heroic Australian Walers and New Zealand horses - 1914–1918

ISBN 978-0-9803527-4-0
RRP $30, 120pp, many illustrations, published 2012

This remarkable but true collection has been gleaned from a large variety of World War 1 sources. It records the role animals played in environments which were completely alien to them. For all the animals that served us so well, only a handful left their mark in history.

This book not only commemorates the role our Australian and New Zealand horses played in a war which saw eight million animals perish in the bloodiest of battles, but preserves this collection of stories to be re-told almost one hundred years later. Here the author presents the deeds of the unknown along side the well known horses, donkeys, mules and dogs. They were all heroes.

Forgotten Heroes
The Australian Waler Horse

ISBN 978-0-9803527-3-3
RRP $30, 156 pages, many illustrations, published 2012

The story of the famous Australian Waler horses is one that records with pride the remarkable journey this original stock horse made from a domestic animal to a war horse without equal. The Boer War and WW1 saw thousands shipped overseas and only the advent of mechanization in 1940 saw the horse decline from military use.

You will read about the logistics involved and answers to questions such as the huge problems associated with the horse lines where hundreds of horses were picketed row after row in Egypt and in France; of the heavy horses that pulled the gun carriages and hauled ammunition and stores. So often forgotten, yet their contribution was vast. Yes, they were the Walers.

The Old Campaigners
Camels, Mules, Donkeys and Waler Horses

ISBN 978-0-9803527-1-9
RRP $30, 166 pages, many illustrations, published 2008

The story of the famous Waler horses is, in part, recounted in Forgotten Heroes – The Australian Waler Horse, but this book adds new and lesser known detail to the fate of the Waler, including information about the Occupation Forces in Australia during World War 2 and their role in using and providing suitable animals.

The much under-rated mules and donkeys also deserve to be remembered, in addition to the camels which played a vital role in warfare. Thousands of these animals trekked through the mud and slush of France hauling the big guns and carrying supplies.

Likewise, they were an essential part of desert warfare and went about their tasks with courage and resilience, so often badly wounded, but struggling on, delivering vital supplies. They too must have their deeds recorded to never be forgotten.

Twelve Terrible Tales!    ★★★ LIMITED EDITION ★★★
Children’s wartime stories about World War 1 pests, parasites and perfectly awful itchy insects

ISBN 978-0-9803527-2-6
RRP $10, 72 pages, published 2010

Hi! My name is Ronnie the Rotten Rat. At last, after nearly one hundred years, it’s time to reveal the truth. Life was not easy for me and my friends as you will find out.

In 1915, poor Rudolph lost his tail and was blinded while he was busy in the trenches of the Somme. My other mates include Marty the Marvellous maggot, Ben Jamin the Beetle, Jacob Jackal and his starving pals and Molly the Aussie Mossie who was kidnapped to find herself and her friends in Egypt.

Others include: Farok, King of the Fleas – almost the whole flea nation poisoned! The Screaming Camel Spider made homeless, and Mortimer, from the Royal Mouse House who had a very hard time indeed.