This piece from the Jerusalem Post brought back memories…
At sunset on October 30, 1917, on the dusty outskirts of present-day Beersheba, more than 500 cavaliers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACS) charged in what trooper Eric Elliot called “the bravest, most awe-inspiring sight” he’d ever witnessed: the 4th Australian Light Horse regiment overtaking the Turkish trenches and seizing Beersheba.
The victory, later known as the Third Battle of Gaza, took place the “very day the British War Cabinet agreed to the Balfour Declaration,” Australian historian and author Kelvin Crombie told The Jerusalem Post in 2003.
Ninety years after the military triumph, 70 Aussies have returned to Israel to commemorate the Light Horsemen’s success. The highlight of their visit will be the “In the Steps of the Light Horse” three-day trek through the Negev on the same route the original regiment took from Shellal to Beersheba. The group will reenact the charge – one of the last successful mounted charges in Western warfare – on the same ground on Wednesday.
One of my Grandpa’s favorite movies was based on that charge. I watched the movie with him more then once. Rereading accounts of that battle I am struck by how closely my memories of the movie follow what really happened. I guess the story was gripping enough they did not feel the need to embellish it much.