Dorrigo remembers Charge on Beersheba

Dorrigo main street buildings .
Dorrigo main street buildings . Trevor Veale

DORRIGO is sponsoring a unique centenary commemoration of a major World War One battle that involved local men and horses.

The charge at Beersheba on October 31, 1917, is generally agreed to have been the last significant cavalry action in history.

One Dorrigo man, Private Walter Bede Greenhalgh, died during the charge and is buried in the British and Commonwealth Forces' Cemetery at Beersheba

The battle, in the heart of Biblical Israel, was a death or glory action that helped turn the tide of a British Commonwealth campaign to defeat the crumbling Ottoman Empire.

The Australian Light Horse, which mounted the charge, was under the leadership of its founder General Charles Chauvel, a grazier on the Upper Clarence near Tabulam.

The commemorations will be held across four days from October 15-18. They will involve more than 20events, including a solemn commemoration of the Battle of Beersheba at the Dorrigo Monument on October 17 at 5pm.

The Beersheba celebrations are a labour of love headed by Dorrigo Heritage Hotel principal Peter Feros

All interested people are invited to attend any of the events.

A special invitation is extended to relatives of men who served at Beersheba or who were active members of the Australian Light Horse in World War One.

The Beersheba centenary will include:

  • A screening of the Australian film The Light Horsemen and a recent documentary on walers, the Australian-bred horses ridden by all Australian cavalry.
  • Presentations and lectures on the Battle of Beersheba, the Australian Light Horse and its links with Dorrigo.
  • Several dinners and visits to the Plateau's major scenic areas.
  • A pilgrimage to Mark Donaldson VC Park, Dorrigo.
  • A formal commemoration of the charge at the Dorrigo Monument on October 17 at 5pm.

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