AS the afternoon of October 31, 1917 inched towards evening, the 4th Australian Light Horse 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 the 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 the Victoria Park RSL over the weekend 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 this morning 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.
“The 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments of the 4th Light Horse Brigade famously charged the town of Be’er-Sheva across open ground against enemy forces,” he said.
“The New Zealand Army also made a significant contribution, fighting for almost 24 hours to secure the high ground of Tel el Saba which overlooked the approach.
“Without support from the New Zealand Army the charge would have been decimated.
“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.”