At dusk on 31 October 1917 the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade executed a successful mounted charge against entrenched Turkish forces at Beersheba. By defying prevailing military doctrine which held that rapid-fire weapons had signaled the end of the mounted warrior, the Australian Light Horse struck the decisive blow at the Battle of Beersheba and secured a place in military history. We welcome you to join us as we mark the centenary with a series of special commemorative events this month:
Wednesday 18th – Talk by Dr David Holloway OAM reflecting on the legendary attack of the Light Horse
Friday 20th – The Light Horse special exhibition on display in the Galleries opens to the public
Friday 27th – Official launch of The Light Horse exhibition with guest speaker Dr Jean Bou
Tuesday 31st – Wreath laying service, with horse procession and riders in Light Horse uniform
Talks and Events
Friends of the Shrine can attend public programs for free. General admission is $5 per person. Bookings essential.
RAN in the Pacific War
Date: Wednesday 4 October, 6pm
Few Australians are aware of the role played by the Royal Australian Navy between December 1941 and August 1945. Ian Pfennigwerth will demonstrate how our ships and men were at the forefront of the fighting, and the integral part they played in conflicts at the time.
Date: Saturday 7 October, 10:30am and midday
Meet in the Shrine Visitor Centre
The sprawling gardens surrounding the Shrine provide a respite from the growing bustle of Melbourne. Join this unique tour of the Shrine Reserve and learn about the creative vision and symbology behind our carefully landscaped gardens.
Join Dr David Holloway OAM, historian of the 4th Light Horse, as he reflects one hundred years later on their legendary attack on Beersheba in October 1917. Discover more about this remarkable regiment—Australia’s only unit to fight on all three fronts during the First World War.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein, one of the turning points of the Second World War. Dr Mark Johnston explains why General Montgomery later acknowledged that he could not have won the battle without ‘that magnificent 9th Australian Division’.
17 October 2017, 10am
Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary
The 2/14th Field Regiment was raised on 17 October 1940. This wreath laying service commemorates the unit from their installment in New Guinea in 1944, to their move to Rabual as a garrison force, where it was gradually stood down due to demobilisation at the end of the war, before returning home to Australia in 1946 to be disbanded.
20 October 2017, 11am
Wreath Laying at Memorial Tree F1b
HMAS Lismore was a Bathurst Class minesweeper commissioned in 1941 and served during the Second World War and then decommissioned in 1946. In October 2007 a plaque dedicated to the ship was unveiled at the Shrine of Remembrance for the inaugural annual service held to honour those who served on her.
27 October 2017, midday
Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary
The 9th Division fought in four major campaigns during the Second World War—the Siege of Tobruk in 1941; the El Alamein battles in 1942; the Huon Peninsula operations in New Guinea in 1943; and the landings in British North Borneo in 1945.
The Light Horse: Centenary of the Battle of Beersheba
31 October 2017, 11am
Wreath Laying on the Forecourt
To commemorate the centenary of the battle and the legend of the Australian Light Horse, there will be a special wreath laying service on the Shrine Forecourt, supported by a procession of horses and riders in Light Horse uniform.
Entry to exhibitions is by donation. All proceeds support the Shrine Education Program.
Nerves and Steel: The Navy in the Pacific
22 July 2017 – 29 July 2018
South Gallery, Galleries of Remembrance
A historical exploration of the naval battles in the Pacific during the Second World War. Discover the struggles and glory of the Allied forces against Japan’s powerful navy and the role that the Royal Australian Navy played from December 1941 to September 1945 in securing the ultimate Allied Victory.
1 April 2017 – 1 April 2018
West Gallery, Galleries of Remembrance
Explore the conflicts in Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan from the unique
perspective of cricket. Sergeant H has played cricket on eleven
deployments with the Australian Army: to maintain team resilience, to
build rapport with locals and to de-stress after combat. Cricket once
even brought together allies and enemy. Visitors will discover eleven
bats each telling a story about war in the twenty-first century.
20 October 2017 – 21 October 2018
East Gallery, Galleries of Remembrance
While Australian infantry served in the grim trenches of the Western Front, their comrades in the Australian Light Horse were fighting a dynamic campaign against the Ottoman Turks in the desert wastes of Sinai, Palestine and Syria. Featuring historic and contemporary paintings, and memorabilia from now legendary light horsemen.
Author Jill Curry brings to life the ANZAC achievements during the Palestinian Campaign of 1916-1918. Released to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba, Victory! explores these conflicts in an easily digestible way, for both the military enthusiast and those beginning to develop an interest in the area.
The limited edition Trooper Bert Jones Bear has been specially created to commemorate the service of the Australian Light Horse in the First World War. He stands proudly in his Light Horse uniform, from his boots to the emu plume in his slouch hat. Trooper Jones will make a gorgeous addition to your centenary collection and comes in a presentation box with certificate of authenticity enclosed.
Created in commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba, this proof-quality medallion has been crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The medallion comes in a presentation box with certificate of authenticity. This is a limited edition item with only 500 available.