Is­rael hon­ours Aussie cavalry

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY DAN GOLD­BERG

MORE THAN 90 years af­ter a First World War bat­tle that helped pave the way for Is­rael’s cre­ation, a me­mo­rial to the Aus­tralian sol­diers who routed the Turks at Beer­sheva has been un­veiled.

Al­most 1,000 dig­ni­taries, in­clud­ing many de­scen­dants of the Aus­tralian Light Horse Brigade who fought there, wit­nessed the un­veil­ing by Is­raeli Pres­i­dent Shi­mon Peres and Aus­tralian Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral Michael Jef­fery of a 1.5-tonne bronze sculp­ture of a mounted sol­dier leap­ing over the Turk­ish trenches to cap­ture the city.

The sculp­ture is the cen­tre­piece of the Park of the Aus­tralian Sol­dier in the south­ern Is­raeli city, funded by the Melbourne-based phil­an­thropic foun­da­tion of Richard and Jeanne Pratt.

On Oc­to­ber 31, 1917, in what was dubbed “the last great cavalry charge in his­tory”, 800 Aus­tralian cav­al­ry­men were or­dered to ride into the fir­ing line of 4,000 en­trenched Turks. By night­fall they had achieved vic­tory.

Lorna Bourchier, 82, whose un­cle was a com­man­der of the charge, said: “I feel very proud that some­body who was part of our fam­ily helped turn a page in the his­tory of Is­rael.”


The mon­u­ment to the Aus­tralian cavalry and its sculp­tor Peter Cor­lett

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