Toogoolawah remembers Beersheba Day

ABOVE AND RIGHT: Twenty-one light horse troops take part in the Toogoolawah Beersheba Day parade.
ABOVE AND RIGHT: Twenty-one light horse troops take part in the Toogoolawah Beersheba Day parade. Derek Barry

WHILE most of Australia celebrated a 100-year anniversary moment from the First World War on the weekend, the Brisbane Valley came alive to celebrate another that was 97 years old.

The Prime Minister and other dignatories were over in Albany, WA to commemorate the departure of the Anzac fleet in 1914, however the people of Toogoolawah came out to remember the battle of Beersheba.

Now a modern city in Israel, in 1917 Beersheba was a key town in Ottoman-held Palestine blocking Allied progress from knocking the Turks out of the war.

On October 31 that year, a desperate British infantry attack on Beersheba looked like it was about to fail when the Australian Light Horse regiment under Harry Chauvel came to the rescue.

Chauvel ordered his men to storm the town, which they did in under an hour, bravely risking lives through a hail of defensive fire.

Beersheba would go down in history as the last successful charge of a cavalry brigade, and the way was clear to conquer Jerusalem before Christmas that year.

That famous event was recalled as Light Horse men and women from all over south-east Queensland descended on Toogoolawah to march through the town.

Organiser Doug Cook of Toogoolawah RSL said he wanted to honour the First World War heroes and put the call out for Light Horse troopers to march through the town.

Twenty-one Light Horse troops answered the call, along with members of the local pony club and Ken Gehrke and his replica jeep.

They assembled at McConnell Park before marching down Cressbrook Street to the showgrounds.

The fun continued during the day at the showgrounds with demonstrations, static displays and a parachute flag drop at lunch time.

Topics:  first world war light horse toogoolawah

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