Riders remember Beersheba

HISTORIC CHARGE: Portrait of General Sir Harry Chauvel in March 1923.
HISTORIC CHARGE: Portrait of General Sir Harry Chauvel in March 1923. Photo Contributed

ONE hundred years ago today at dawn, the 4th and 12th Regiments of the 4th Light Horse Brigade charged at Turkish trenches at Beersheba, marking one of the most significant victories of World War I and thrusting Tabulam man General Sir Harry Chauvel into history.

The Battle of Beersheba was one of the war's most decisive victories, the enemy being taken by surprise. A century later the battle is being remembered with a three-day horse ride from Tabulam to Copmanhurst.

Making the journey will be Sir Harry Chauvel's grandson Richard, who said it was an honour to see riders taking part in the commemoration.

"The last I heard there were about 200 riders taking part, which is quite remarkable," he said.

"It really says a lot of the continuing importance in the Upper Clarence of horses and horsemanship, and it's a very appropriate commemoration of the 4th Light Horse Brigade.

"It's a very important occasion and what I've been impressed with in the last couple of weeks is how the battle and the brigade has been remembered in the local communities such as Tabulam where the Light Horse was raised.

"I'm proud to see my grandfather remembered in this way and, hopefully, his military career in the broader sense can be recognised.

"The Battle of Beersheba was a very important turning point of the campaign but by no means the whole story."

The 4th Light Horse was originally raised as the Upper Clarence Light Horse in Tabulam by Harry's father Charles in 1886 when 129 men were sworn in, including Chauvel's two sons Harry George and Edward.

Mr Chauvel said Harry and the family moved to the Darling Downs in 1888 and joined the Queensland Mounted Infantry in 1890, and served in the Boer War.

"He has an extraordinarily long military career, and was Australia's first commissioned officer and was Chief of General Staff until he retired," Richard said.

"One of the remarkable things was that my grandfather was in command of what would be the Desert Army Corps which was a multinational group and there was nothing quite like it anywhere else during the war."

Topics:  battle of beersheba harry chauvel tabulam

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