Tribute to horsemen

By Gus McCubbing

MORE than 150 people paid tribute to the charge of the Fourth Australian Light Horse Brigade in Beersheba during the First World War at the Kyabram Cemetery last week.

The event was attended by three Campaspe Shire councillors, Annie Vickers, Neil Pankhurst and Vicki Neale, and was, according to organiser Clive Toms, a ‘‘good success’’.

‘‘I paid tribute to an old friend in Garry Major, and it was really from the books Garry gave me about the charge that enlightened me to the story,’’ Clive said.

‘‘I was ignorant of this marvellous story for 72 years, until in 2015 I was given the book and the doors were opened to me.’’

With three riders dressed in light horse regalia staging a mini charge, the commemorative event also featured contributions from locals. Geoff Bray played the bugle; Brian Sullivan played MC; Reverend John Hosking delivered a speech and benediction, Graeme James recited Graham Watt’s poem Seed of that Lone Pine, and Les Parkinson recited Oliver Hogue’s We Left Our Horses Behind.

‘‘The peril of the horses was tragic,’’ Clive said. ‘‘There was only one brought back to Australia after the First World War. Most of them were left over there or, in many cases, the soldiers chose to shoot them rather than leave them behind.’’

Clive is considering running the tribute for a third time next year.