Beersheba lighthorse re-enactment at show

Beersheba lighthorse re-enactment at show

Lachie Owen on Polly, Keith Sheather on Cookie, and Noel Bridle on Sunny.

The Tumut Show doesn’t fall short when it comes to entertainment, with rides, games, and performances filling up the calendar.

However, some participants attend for a more sombre reason.

Lachie Owen, Keith Sheather, and Noel Bridle, and their horses Polly, Cookie, and Sunny, were there in uniform, to represent the sacrifices of the Light Horse Brigade.

“It’s 100 years since the charge of Beersheba in Turkey, and we’re doing the re-enactment in their memory,” explained Mr Owen.

“They can’t be forgotten.”

In October 31 1917, in the heart of the chaos of World War One, the Anzac Mounted Division’s Fourth Light Horse Brigade stormed through the Turkish defences and seized the strategic town of Beersheba.

The capture of Beersheba enabled British Empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza on 7 November and advance into Palestine.

“It was the turning point of the war,” said Mr Bridle.

“The horses were vital; they played a big part in the war, moving the guns and things like that. That’s the other thing, the horses were forgotten too, and this is a mark of respect.”

The group has been participating in re-enactments for over five years, where they answer questions and encourage people to reflect on the Australian soldiers of years past.

Their hope is to bring about greater awareness of our history, particularly for young people.

“We know more about others people history than we do our own,” said Mr Sheather.

“We want people to know how it was, what happened at Gallipoli and what the Pommies did, and about the Light Horse.

“If it wasn’t for the Light Horse they wouldn’t have travelled and achieved what they did. Same going into World War Two, they held off the Japs in Papua New Guinea.

“If you ask young kids today they don’t know about all of this. It needs to be out there and that’s why we do it.”

They also do it in original uniforms.

Mr Bridle’s leggings were worn by his father in battle, and the rest has been sourced second hand.

“It’s hard to find original stuff, you can get reproductions but this is original,” he said.