Beersheba Day, Light Horse charge remembered

Maleny 5th Light Horse

Maleny 5th Light Horse
Volunteers of The Maleny Troop of the 5th Light Horse Regiment’s parade in Maleny

The Maleny Troop of the 5th Light Horse Regiment will be parading through Maleny on Saturday 29th of October in memory of the victorious World War 1 Australian Light Horse charge at Beersheba, Palestine.
The parade starts at 10.40am at the Junction of Maple and Myrtle Streets and ends at the RSL where a short ceremony to mark the day will be held commencing at 11am.
Beersheba was the last ever successful mounted charge in modern wartime history.
On that fateful October 31st day in 1917 a furious battle had raged around the Turkish occupied town of Beersheba. The total combined efforts of the English, Welsh, Scottish, New Zealanders and Australian forces during that long day had not been enough to gain a decisive victory against the Turks.
Fighting in the desert was merciless – should the troops run out of water, the battle would be lost. As the day was drawing to a close it became apparent that if victory was not seized on this day, many men and horses would not only succumb to bombs and bullets but a great deal more would die from thirst before reaching safety some 40 kilometres march away.
At 4.10 that afternoon a decision was made to have the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade form up and conduct a cavalry charge straight at the Turkish fortified trenches.
It defies belief that men on horseback with rifles slung round their necks and bayonets in hand could ride over 3 kilometres of completely open terrain straight trough artillery shells, machine gun and rifle fire, then fight hand to hand against overwhelmingly superior numbers and still win the battle.
Many, many tales of bravery and acts of mateship are told about this day and rightly so. Typically there is always the Australian larrikin story of how it was the horses fault, for as soon as they smelt the water there was no stopping them!
This decisive battle was won by normal men mounted on sturdy Australian horses and their efforts are honoured on this day by a group of volunteers who take great care and pride of our Australian heritage in the remembrance of this act of courage and daring.
So when you see this wonderful parade of horse and riders marching through your town remember this day with pride.
Suzy Werry