AS the afternoon of October 31, 1917 inched towards evening, the 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment charged towards the enemy at Beersheba, Israel in what would be remembered as one of the last great cavalry charges.
By the end of the Battle of Beersheba, 31 Australian men from the 4th and 12th Light Horse had lost their lives and 36 were wounded, but the charge had allowed Allied forces to capture the area, paving the way for the fall of Gaza a week later.
A century on, the Kelmscott-Pinjarra 10th Light Horse joined with Victoria Park RSL recently to hold a memorial service and re-enactment.
The light horse troop was also part of RSLWA and Friends of Israel WA commemorations at Kings Park last Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell said the battle was a significant moment in World War I as it allowed the British Empire to break the Ottoman line and advance into Palestine.
“With the backdrop of significant losses in Gallipoli and the Western Front, the Battle of Beersheba saw comparatively few casualties, and the courage and desperation of the Light Horsemen saw them triumph in a daring charge that forever earned them a place in Australia’s history,” he said.
Burt MHR Matt Keogh, who was a guest at the memorial, said it was important for the community to commemorate events such as this.
“They are not only times of supreme sacrifice in defence of our freedoms and way of life but an important reminder that when Australians have our backs against the wall, in the face of terrible adversity and terrible odds, we can and do overcome,” he said. “Such events should and do continue to inspire us today.”
The Kelmscott-Pinjarra 10th Light Horse were part of a Battle of Beersheba memorial and re-enactment event.