Media Release

31 October 2017

Guy: Battle of Beersheba

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Battle of Beersheba

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba which occurred in modern-day Israel.

Beersheba was said to be one of the great and last cavalry charges in history, marking an end to a style of combat used for hundreds of years.

Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel commanded 800 Australians of the Fourth Light Horse Brigade who took the town from the forces of the Ottoman Empire.

31 Australians were killed in the battle where the 800 Australians rode through Turkish lines rather than arrive by horse and dismount to fight.

This strategic breakthrough made possible the subsequent taking by British Forces of Jerusalem, followed by the establishment of Palestine under British Mandate and the ultimate establishment of Israel.

More than 1,350 Australian lives were lost in the Middle East campaigns during the First World War.

Today’s commemoration at what is now known as Be’er Sheva in Israel will commemorate the bravery of these Australians.