Ar­rest­ing name for cop horse to hon­our Dig­gers

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - SARAH KEOGHAN

IT was a World War I bat­tle fought 100 years ago made fa­mous by the movie The Lighthorse­men — and now it will be com­mem­o­rated by a spe­cial re­cruit to the NSW Po­lice Force.

The Mounted Unit is nam­ing its new horse Beer­sheba to hon­our the his­toric bat­tle which helped de­feat the Turk­ish forces.

Be­gin­ning at dusk on Oc­to­ber 31, 1917, mem­bers of the 4th Light Horse Brigade stormed through the Turk­ish de­fences and seized the strate­gic town of Beer­sheba.

The fa­mous as­sault is still recog­nised as the last suc­cess­ful cav­alry charge in his­tory.

For­mer com­man­der of the Mounted Unit Don Eyb said about 800 horses were in­volved in the fight.

“It was a very suc­cess­ful bat­tle as only 30 men were lost out of 800, which was un­heard of in World War I,” he said.

“Nam­ing the horse Beer­sheba is a fan­tas­tic way to pub­li­cise such a suc­cess­ful part of Aus­tralian mil­i­tary his­tory.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Eyb, the horse’s name is also a fit­ting means of mark­ing the long mil­i­tary con­nec­tions of the NSW mounted po­lice force.

“When the Mounted Unit was formed in 1825, it was made up of dis­patched mil­i­tary men and recruits from the army so we have a sig­nif­i­cant tie with the Aus­tralian Army,” he said.

Po­lice Sergeant Melinda Dun­can said Beer­sheba was al­ready en­joy­ing its new name.

“Beer­sheba used to be named Re­gal and came to us as an ex-dres­sage horse,” she said. “We have 34 horses in the unit, with most of them pa­trolling in the city.

“We use them for high vis­i­bil­ity polic­ing as it re­ally breaks down a bar­rier be­tween the pub­lic and the force as peo­ple love to come and pat them. Beer­sheba in par­tic­u­lar is a real cud­dler.”

Af­ter ex­celling in train­ing, Beer­sheba is ex­pected to be a part of the force for years to come.

Po­lice­man Nathan Towney, as a Lighthorse­man, with Beer­sheba. Pic­ture: Sam Rut­tyn

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.