Battle of Beersheba charge recreated for centenary

BEERSHEBA, Israel – An “Australian light horse brigade” of history enthusiasts rode through the Israeli desert town of Beersheba on Tuesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a World War I cavalry charge that helped reshape the Middle East.

The victory by the Australia and New Zealand Corps (ANZAC) in the Battle of Beersheba, a biblical town in what was Ottoman Palestine in 1917, broke a strategic Turkish defence line and led to the conquest of the Holy Land by British imperial forces.

Dozens of history buffs, including descendents of the soldiers of the 4th Brigade of the Australian Light Horse, the cavalry force that charged the Turkish positions, came to Beersheba to parade on horseback through the streets and stage a re-enactment.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a memorial ceremony in the city also attended by his Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, and New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Redding, said the October 31 battle was an important part of a history line that led to Israel’s creation in 1948.

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