Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"The last great cavalry charge in history"

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These are pictures I took in Sydney, Australia,  in 2009.
Written in the concrete wall is

TO THE HORSES OF THE DESERT MOUNTED CORPS 

Erected by members of the Desert Mounted Corps 
and friends 
to the gallant horses who carried them 
over Sinai Desert  into Palestine
1915 - 1918


They suffered wounds, thirst, hunger and 
weakness almost beyond endurance but never failed.
They did not come home. [*]

We will never forget them.


There is also a plaque in the ground, unveiled on October 31, 2007,

"commemorating the 90th anniversary of the charge at Beersheba which took place at 4.30 pm on Wednesday 31 October 1917.
The success of the charge led to an earlier conclusion of the Desert Campaign in the Middle East in World War I.

             In memory of
the gallant men and horses of the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments that took part in the charge and those that made the supreme sacrifice."
________________________________________________
* Over 29,000 horses were shipped to the Middle East for the war but at war's end, they could not be returned to Australia.  See what was done with them here.

I tell you all this because October 31, 2012 will be the 95th anniversary.
The Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv kindly sent me the invitation partially copied below.

If anyone can attend, the Embassy would like you to RSVP by tomorrow.
I hope to be there for these very special events.

Be’er Sheva Commemoration
Annual Memorial Service

Wednesday 31 October 2012
 
The Australian Embassy and the Municipality of Be’er Sheva invite you to the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the battle of Be’er Sheva.  The commemoration marks the fall of the Ottoman controlled city of Be’er Sheva to British and ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops on 31 October 1917. The historic charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade of the Australian Mounted Division played a critical part in this major battle.
 
 
The service will take place at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery
at 10:30 on 31 October. (Ha’atzmaut St. Be’er Sheva)
_________________________________________________

 Other commemorative events:
31 October
Pratt Foundation
8:45   Refreshments and morning tea
9:30  Tribute to the Australian Light Horse Brigade
Park of the Australian Soldier
(Abba Ahimeir St. Be’er Sheva)
Enquiries: Mr Peter Adler, Pratt Foundation 

Be'ersheva Municipality
11:30 Commemoration service
Turkish Memorial Monument
(Tuviyahu St. Be’er Sheva)
Enquiries: Ms Malka Reisner, Be'ersheva Municipality  08 6463910
Society for the Heritage of WWI
15:00 Re-enactment of the charge of the Australian Light Horse
Beit Eshel
Enquiries: Mr Ezra Pimental, Society for the Heritage of World War One -  054 9413155
Be'ersheva Archaelogy Museum
12:00 - 15:00 Temporary exhibition by Sgt. Thomas Henry Ivers, an artist who served in the Australian Light Horse
The Archaeology Museum
(60 HaAtzmaut St)
Enquiries: Mr Goel Drory, Museum Curator - 052 2767113
28th October 
Kinneret Academic College
16:00 Ceremony in Honour of The Australian Light Horsemen at the Battle of Semakh
(Kinneret College, the Sea of Galilee near the historic Semakh Train Station)
Enquiries: Mr Ziv Ofir, Deputy CEO, Kinneret Academic College
 ____________________________________________________

Dear readers, see also Beersheva's Park of the Australian Soldier 
and about this month's re-enactment: The Light Horsemen Ride Again.
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I hope to bring photos of the  war cemetery for Taphophile Tragics  in two weeks.
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12 comments:

Nicola Carpenter said...

What a wonderful post and an amazing monument and tribute to those brave men and horses.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting.

Beneath Thy Feet

Bill Nicholls said...

A side of war I never gave a thought to and such a sad ending for such magnificent animals.

Jim said...

Very interesting Aussie connection.

Hels said...

The Charge of the Australian Lighthorse at Beersheba is a stunning painting, painted by artist George Lambert after the 1914-18 war had actually ended. As official war artist, he created powerful memories of Australian bravery and loss.

All my students recognise Lambert's works in a heartbeat.

Ann said...

That should be really interesting. I remember being fascinated by the Rats of Tobruk in school history (a very long time ago).

Birdman said...

We often forget about the gallant yet innocent lost in wars.

Cloudia said...

You honor the heroes, human and animal



Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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VP said...

They survived a war to be shot by their own, officially or not... What a sad story! This reminds me of the recent movie 'War Horse'.

Adullamite said...

The Aussie regiments were very powerful during that war.

Dina said...

Friends, thank you for your welcome comments.

Helen, thanks for informing us about the artist Lambert.
Is this the Beersheba painting you refer to?
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2007-10-31/a-painting-by-george-lambert-depicting-the-charge/711476

Ann, another thing for me to read up on. Thanks. I started here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rats_of_Tobruk_Memorial,_Canberra

VP, they claim that "only" a few thousand of the 29,000 Aussie horses were put down. The soldiers thought that the alternative was worse. Is this like our own Masada mentality?

Spiderdama said...

Sad story, but very interesting post Dina.

Julie said...

Ahah ... I think I know where this plaque is, Dina: On the wall of the Botanic Gardens opposite the main entrance to the State Library.