The Light Horsemen Ride Again

October 16, 2012 Agencies
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More than 40 members of the Australian Light Horse Association are heading to Israel to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the famous Light Horse Brigade’s charge on Beer Sheva, which helped bring an end to the Ottoman Empire.

The group will re-enact the famous three-kilometre charge across the sand dunes outside Beer Sheva at 16:30 on October 31.

For it was then, on that day in 1917 that some 800 horsemen of the Australian Light Horse Brigade captured the ancient town from about 4000 Ottomans in what has been dubbed “the last great cavalry charge in history”.

It was a death-defying assault that allowed the Allies to advance north to Jerusalem and Damascus.

The group will also visit the Pratt Foundation-funded Park of the Australian soldier, which commemorates Australians who fought and died in the Middle East, to lay a wreath. It was officially opened by then Governor-General Michael Jeffery and Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2008 in front of about 1000 people.

The Israel Travel Centre in Sydney is also running a tour to the area to coincide with the memorial.

The gallantry of Gallipoli has long eclipsed the battle of Beer Sheva, although as the years roll by, more and more Australians are becoming familiar with this pivotal battle that many believe changed the course of history.


3 Responses to “The Light Horsemen Ride Again”
  1. Dr says:

    I first read about this in a short story by Frank Dalby Davison, called “The Wells of Beersheba”; then in Ion L Idriess’s book “The Desert Column” (he was in the Australian Light Horse, from Egypt through to Jaffa where he was wounded and invalided out of the war; he *saw* the charge take place, but was not one of those who took part; his description of it, as seen from a nearby vantage point, is worth reading).

    It always lifts the hair on the back of my neck, thinking about it. Because it *was* one of the blows that helped liberate eretz Israel from the deadly and death-dealing grasp of the Empire of Islam.

    I have sometimes wondered: what prayers of hundreds of thousands of persecuted, exploited, raped and mass-murdered dhimmis, Jewish and Christian and Samaritan, what cries for justice uttered over the centuries, what angry ghosts, what avenging angels, rode on the shoulders of the Australians and ran beside and before and behind them invisibly on the battlefield, tipping the balance that day?

  2. Liat Nagar says:

    The Australian Light Horse Brigade charge on Be’er Sheva was an extraordinary event that has not been given the exposure Gallipoli has. I understand, and acknowledge, the significance of Gallipoli, the stoicism and courage of those who endured it, who had to endure it due to military admin. on high making careless and ignorant mistakes. It has been told and retold as an important Australian story, and given the status of having shaped the nation, or at least Australians as individuals making up the nation. If the situation that existed for the Australian Light Horse Brigade in the Middle East was examined in detail for what it was, including the treacherous desert landscape in which this almost miraculously executed event took place, then given the kind of publicity Gallipoli has had, in books and in film, it would take its deserved place in history as a most momentous occasion which was fuelled by that very spirit of Anzac attributed to Gallipoli. Also, the outcome of the successful charge on Be’er Sheva proved to be instrumental in the course of historical events. The latter though need not be the measure of courage and spirit; it’s the enactment that displays those qualities, how people respond to extreme hardship and the possibility of death. I say retrieve this story of Australian soldiers in the desert and give it its rightful more prominent place.

  3. turkic voice says:

    nothing comes close to Gallipoli this is where the spirit of anzac gather,

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