Page 4757 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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Memorial’s website says the Battle of Beersheba took place on 31 October 1917 as part of the wider British offensive collectively known as the Third Battle of Gaza. The final phase of the all-day battle was the famous mounted charge of the Light Horse Brigade commencing at dusk. Members of the brigade stormed through the Turkish defences and seized the strategic town of Beersheba. The capture of Beersheba enabled the empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza on 7 November and advance on to Palestine.

Mounted troops spent the summer of 1917 after the Second Battle of Gaza in constant reconnaissance and in preparation of the offensive to come. Turkish forces held the line from Gaza near the coast to Beersheba, about 46 kilometres to the southeast. The allied forces held the line to the Wide Chuza from its mouth to El Gamli on the east. The positions were not continuous trench lines but, rather, a succession of strong posts. Both sides kept their strength in front of the city of Gaza. With that I would like to read into the record my grandfather’s record:

2326 Private Walter Hamilton Gentleman, Australian Army, 6th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Brigade, 1st Australian Imperial Force, Regimental Battle Honours, Defence of Anzac, Rumani, Gaza - Beersheba, Jordan - Esall, Megiddo, South West Pacific, Cape Endaladere, South Africa, Sari Bair, Egypt, Jerusalem, Jordan - Amman, Palestine, Bunagona, Senemi - Creek.

It states:

Men of the light horse - your sacrifice and deeds and those of following generations of Australians who fought for Australia will remain ever etched in the history of a grateful nation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.58 pm.

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