Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said today marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba and the famous charge of the Australian Light Horse.
“More than 1,350 Australians lost their lives in the Middle East campaigns of the First World War,” Senator Scullion said.
“I urge Territorians to pause today and remember the service and sacrifice of the Australian soldiers who served in the Battle of Beersheba and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign during the First World War.
“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.
“The capture of Beersheba 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.
“I am pleased to see the memory of Indigenous diggers will be honoured with the descendants of 11 Indigenous Light Horsemen, including those who took part in the famous charge at Beersheba, visiting Israel for the anniversary.”
A joint Australian–New Zealand commemorative service to mark the Battle of Beersheba and Sinai–Palestine Campaign will be held today 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 4.30 NT time/6pm AEDT.