Israeli WW1 expert talks on Australia-Israel connection and Beersheba commemorations

May 30, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Eran Tearosh, Chairman of the Society for the Heritage of World War I in Israel has addressed an Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council luncheon, discussing efforts to raise awareness of Australia’s pivotal and historic role in the region and the upcoming centenary of the famous Australian light horse charge in Beersheba.“We are participating in many different events commemorating the events of the World War in our region and thank god we have a very strong connection with Australians both directly with the Embassy and through the Australian Light Horse Association which is a sister organisation of our society,” said Tearosh.

Ean Tearosh

Eran Tearosh

“Beersheba is why I am here for these two weeks. We (aim to) bring to the land of Israel and to Beersheba as many people as possible.”

Addressing Australia’s central role in the conflict, Tearosh explained how Australians and Israelis will join many others in Israel to commemorate the centenary of the historic battle and Australia’s significant impact on the region.

“There were many types of Australian forces that were active in the land of Israel during the World War, ANZAC was just one of the two cavalry divisions who were active at that time. A second one was the Australian Mounted Division, again we had the Australian Flying Corps, we had Units trained in construction of water systems and water sources development, medical teams, the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade, all these included Australians.”

“There were many sites throughout the country where Australians were involved… towards Jaffa, towards the Judean hills, even there was a small force that was part of the capture of Jerusalem. The 10th Light Horse Regiment, further east towards Jericho and the Judean mountains, further north towards the plains of Sharon almost a year later when the great last offensive of the British forces known as the Battle of Armageddon takes place, there the Australian cavalry took a tremendous role.”

“The one thing Australians demanded for that last phase of the war, they wanted to be cavalry which means training with swords and having swords attached to their weapons. In the last phase of the battle the Australians were acting already as 100% cavalry, so much not the case the year before at Beersheba when this idea of them charging in such an incredible manner, not equipped and not trained as cavalry and yet they did an excellent cavalry job, charging Beersheba and taking over the lines there. The fact that the Australians take over Beersheba without hesitation, it was really impossible conditions and the time-pressure was so immense and yet they in such a brave way broke through and took over, opening the gates for the whole British Army,” he concluded.

The Hon. Walt Secord, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the NSW Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Health, The Arts and the North Coast also addressed the gathering, speaking on his recent visit to China and warm relations with the NSW and Australian Jewish communities.


One Response to “Israeli WW1 expert talks on Australia-Israel connection and Beersheba commemorations”
  1. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    The courageous and effective actions of the Australians in this region of War, especially the result in Beersheba, have always loomed large in my historical imagination. I hope that much will be made of it during the centenary commemoration – there needs to be wider spread public awareness, I think.

    The French village of Villers-Bretonneux is now firmly planted in the consciousness of Australians with World War 1 in mind – and Beersheba deserves such recognition, especially with the seemingly insurmountable difficulties facing those who were part of that cavalry charge.

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