Re­mem­ber­ing Beer­sheba

Comment News (Armadale) - - Local Focus -

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.

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