On 31 October 1917, the heavily fortified town of Beersheba in Israel was the scene of a historic charge by the men of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade.
Commencing at dusk, the brigade stormed the town, using their bayonets as swords in a highly unconventional charge. The momentum of the surprise attack carried them through the Turkish defences where they were able to secure the town before it could be destroyed by the retreating Turkish force. The unconventional approach was a success—the town and its wells were secured, providing the 60,000 allied troops with access to the region’s only dependable source of water. However, 31 men from the Light Horse lost their lives and an additional 36 were wounded.
At least 70 horses also died during the charge. We commemorate this historic battle as it led to the beginning of the end for the Turkish defensive line and the Australian campaign in WWI.