The Battle of Beersheba was one of the last successful cavalry charges in history, and along with Gallipoli, came to embody everything the Anzac spirit stood for.
A century ago, the men of New England played a significant role in the victorious charge, which was recognised in two centenary anniversary ceremonies in Tamworth.
A flagpole and plaque were unveiled at Hyman Park, which paid tribute to the heroic efforts of Bective farmer and later Tamworth grazier, Major Eric Hyman.
Major Hyman played a pivotal role in the charge – at one point he leapt from his horse and led a dozen men into a Turkish stronghold, overcoming them in fierce hand-to-hand fighting and taking 40 prisoners.
Tamworth Lions Club member and avid historian, Brian Sullivan, said for his actions on that day, Major Hyman was awarded a Distinguished Service Order.
“But a DSO didn’t wipe out the memory of that day when he shot 15 men with his service pistol,” Mr Sullivan said.
It took the Tamworth Lions Club two years to plan the Hyman Park event. Club president Patrick Long said the logistics – from contacting the descendants to organising the Light Horse Association – were “absolutely mind boggling”.
“It’s a credit to the committee to pull this, there was a lot of hard worth to put it all together,” Mr Long said.
“This plaque will give future generations an understanding and appreciation of what the Light Horseman were faced against.”
Tamworth RSL sub-branch president Bob Chapman was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout.
“I think it’s wonderful, there are more here than I thought there would be on a weekday,” Mr Chapman said.
“This is a wonderful tribute to a man and a famous battle that, along with Gallipoli, really cemented Australians in military history.”
Another plaque commemorating the milestone was unveiled at Bicentennial Park, near the Waler Memorial.
Major Wayne Clark of the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers said it described the charge, while paying tribute to the local men who played important parts in the “daring feat of arms”.
This is a wonderful tribute to a man and a famous battle that, along with Gallipoli, really cemented Australians in military history.Tamworth RSL sub-branch president Bob Chapman