The 100th anniversary of the famous charge by the Australian Light Horse on the Wells of Beersheba is commemorated today presenting a chance for people in the Electorate of Parkes to stop and remember the service and sacrifice of Australian troops overseas.
“More than 1,350 Australians lost their lives in the Middle East campaigns of the First World War,” the Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said.
“I urge everyone in the Electorate of Parkes to pause today and remember those who served in the Battle of Beersheba and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign during the First World War.
Mr Coulton said he visited the memorial at Beersheba earlier in the year and said the capture of a strategic position and the fall of several important posts outside the town over the following days opened the Turkish flank and enabled Allied forces to capture Gaza on 7 November and advance into Palestine.
“About 800 Australians from the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments, with the support of British artillery, charged toward Beersheba under heavy fire.
“The enemy resistance soon collapsed and more than 700 Turkish soldiers were taken captive, 31 members of the Australian Light Horse were killed and 36 were wounded.
A joint Australian–New Zealand commemorative service to mark the Battle of Beersheba and Sinai–Palestine Campaign will be held today [31 October] at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery in Be’er-Sheva, Israel.
The service will be broadcast live on ABC TV and online at 6pm AEDT.
Caption: The Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton with the Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd at the Beersheba Memorial earlier this year.