MAGPIE resident Dawn Manning will travel halfway around the world this month to honour the legacy of her light horseman grandfather William Henry Manning.
As part of Australia’s fourth light horse regiment, William was part of the last cavalry charge in history at the 1917 Battle of Beersheba.
To mark the 95th anniversary of the historic charge, Ms Manning will join a riding tour tracing the steps of the Australian light horse men from Beersheba to Jerusalem. Ms Manning said she remembered bouncing on her grandfather’s knee as a young girl before his death in 1965.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get his war records,” she said.
“He was a machine gunner and a farrier.
“He wanted to serve his country in line with many other men of that day.”
Born in 1891, William enlisted in October 1914 and was wounded in Gallipoli before returning to England for treatment. He rejoined his regiment in Palestine in January 1916 where he served for the next four years.
In October 1917, the British Infantry were not making any headway and the village of Beersheba blocked their path north. A charge of the Light Horse overran the Ottomans and secured the village in a battle that changed the course of history.
“If this battle had not occurred the state of Israel would probably not exist today,” Ms Manning said.
Organised by the Australian Light Horse Association, the Steps of Light Horse Tour will pass through the Park of the Australian Soldier in Beersheba.
Ms Manning said her participation was on behalf of all of William’s descendents.
“It’ll be quite moving to be where those men were,” she said.
Departing from Tel Aviv on October 24, Mr Manning will visit five battle sites and lay a wreath at the war memorial at Beersheba on behalf of her family.
Embarking with her will be three members of the Creswick Light Horse Brigade, as well as participants from around Australia.