Battle of Beersheba commemorated in Menangle

The 102nd anniversary of the famous charge of Beersheba in 1917 - often described as the last successful cavalry charge in history - was commemorated with a special service at Club Menangle this morning.

The site of the local paceway was a major training ground for the Light Horse and has a strong bond with the legend.

The large crowd was afterwards invited to explore the impressive Light Horse museum that has been specially created at the club.

The 7th Light Horse Regiment Menangle Historical Troop and the Ingleburn RSL and City of Campbelltown Pipe Band were, as always, a welcome presence.

Local MPs, councillors, and other dignitaries also laid wreaths at the "Centenary Wall" which features the names of all the lighthorsemen who fell at Beersheba.

A breakfast function featured as guest speaker Sergeant-Major Max Garcia, formerly of the US Marines and a decorated Iraq War veteran who now lives in Macarthur.

He gave a passionate talk on the charge from the perception of a fellow soldier, and paid tribute to all the former service people in the room.

MC Steve Wisbey spoke fondly of his great-grandfather Fred Wisbey, a veteran of Beersheba (and the reason Mr Wisbey's well-known bar in Camden is called Upstairs At Freds).

The battle of Beersheba saw the Australians stunningly defeat the Turks in 1917 and open the door to the allied victory in the Middle East.

Macarthur not only has a strong bond with the military legend via the Menangle Park training ground and local veterans, but Campbelltown, Camden and Picton were also, in the 1890s, major operational centres of the NSW Mounted Rifles - forerunners of the Light Horse.

Club Menangle chief executive Bruce Christison has been a strong supporter of this annual event and is proud of the history that rests behind this little corner of Campbelltown.