Task Group Taji light horsemen remember Beersheba 100 years on
31 October 2017
Across the globe, a small but very proud fraternity of soldiers stood tall as they remembered one of Australia’s greatest military victories.
The 31st of October marked 100 years since Light Horsemen from the ANZAC Mounted Division charged the Ottoman defences of Beersheba with bayonets in hand
At 16:30 in the afternoon the 4th and 12th Light Horse regiments moved off at the trot in the direction of Beersheba to capture what was then a strategically important position for the British forces in Palestine.
As the trot moved into a gallop the Light Horsemen moved over the ridge and came under shrapnel fire from the Turkish defenders, however the Australians attacked so fast that the Turkish gunners could not depress the guns quick enough to engage the Light Horse attackers.
Captain Kate Clarkson from Task Group Taji said that there is an immense pride in the Light Horse Regiments about the Battle of Beersheba.
“The attack on Beersheba signifies the last offensive conducted by a mounted division,” she said.
“It is a massive fabric of what we stand for as a Light Horse Regiment.
“It epitomizes tenacity, courage, mateship for both fellow men and their horses and the desire to win at all costs.”
As the attackers came under machine gun fire the Turkish defenders were quickly engaged by British and New Zealand artillery batteries supporting the attack.
Galloping across the open ground with bayonets at the ready, the 4th Light Horse Regiment charged over the top of the Turkish trenches and defensive line causing panic amongst the defenders as they were cut down under Australian bayonets and rifle fire.
As the 4th Light Horse finished off of the Turkish trench defences the 12th Light Horse Regiment conducted a forward passage of lines and captured the Mosque and the vitally important wells.
Commander of Task Group Taji Colonel Steve D’arcy said that 100 year anniversary of the charge is of particular significance.
“100 years later the Australian Army is once again serving in the Middle East to help liberate a people from tyranny and oppression,” he said.
“We have with us in the Task Group modern day Light Horsemen who are serving in the same region as their forebears.
“It is with great pride that we stop and remember those men who took part in such a gallant and heroic action and pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom.”
The 4th Light Horse Brigade including the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiment suffered a total of 35 killed in action with 29 wounded in the assault on Beersheba.