Battle of Beersheba and contribution of Australian nurses at war to be honoured at Albany services
The Albany RSL sub-branch will host services this weekend to commemorate the Battle of Beersheba and to honour the contribution of Australian nurses at war.
On Saturday, a service at the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial will mark the 104th anniversary of Beersheba on October 31, 1917.
The battle included the famous charge of the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, which captured the town of Beersheba and helped British Empire forces break the Ottoman line near Gaza one week later.
The service holds strong historic ties to Albany as many of the thousands of horses that departed from Albany for WWI were bred in the region.
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Only one horse returned to Australia after the war due partly to fears of importing animal diseases.
Albany RSL services director Michael Tugwell said the exploits of the Australian soldiers and horses at Beersheba were etched into world military history.
“It was the last successful cavalry charge held in the world,” he said.
“It was a do or die mission to secure water for the men and their horses, failure would have resulted in death from thirst.”
The service will be held at the Mount Clarence memorial on Saturday at 2pm, with a shuttle bus service available from the bottom of Apex Drive.
On Sunday, a service will be held at the Nurses Memorial Gardens on Proudlove Parade to commemorate the nurses who have served with the Australian forces over more than a century.
“During WWI these often very young women lived in appalling conditions often very close to the front line,” Mr Tugwell said.
“They were often the difference between wounded soldiers surviving or dying and in many cases were with our young Australian Imperial Force members when they passed away.”
Former and current nurses from across WA will travel to Albany to attend the service.
The service is scheduled to start at 2pm and will be followed by an afternoon tea hosted by the Albany Nurses Remembrance Association at RSL headquarters on Stirling Terrace.
For details, contact Mr Tugwell on 0421 647 301 or email@example.com.
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