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A musical tribute to the Australian Light Horse Brigade

An informative afternoon of music from the war years in honour of the Australian Light Horse and their exploits in the Middle East will be held in Parkerville on Saturday afternoon to help young musicians fundraise for a trip of a lifetime.

The fundraising event at the Parkerville Baptist Church on Saturday, May 20 will help members of the Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band (PHWB) be part of the 100th Anniversary of the charge of Beersheba ride in Israel.

Almost 50 Australians re-enacted the famous charge of the Australian Light Horse on October 31, 2007.

The original charge on October 31, 1917 was part of the Battle of Beersheba where British, New Zealand and Australian soldiers defeated the Turkish army.

Following the win, the British War Cabinet in London agreed to establish a Jewish national home in Israel.

To help celebrate 100 years since the battle, the PHWB were invited to accompany the official Australian Light Horse Association (ALHA) tour group to Israel in October.

This involves a re-enactment of the charge with 100 horses exactly 100 years to the minute after the original; at 4.30pm on October 31.

Band conductor and music director Peter Hind said he was happy to accept the invitation, which came on the back of a European tour the band did in 2015 of significant battlefield sites and memorials including Gallipoli, and Menin Gate.    

Mr Hind said the band had 80 members and 17 would play at the Light Horse tour in Israel.

They will lead commemorative services, street parades, and give public concerts at many locations in Israel including Jerusalem.

Mr Hind said he composed three new pieces of music to help pay tribute.

“We will internationally premiere an original composition telling the story of the Light Horse from the charge at the Nek to the charge at Beersheba to an audience that will include many dignitaries from both Australia and Israel,” he said.

“The accompanying music is designed to depict the events of war in a soundscape to create different atmospheres and locations.

“These vary from a chaotic horse charge in Israel, to contemplative after battle reflection in Turkey, to Australian patriotism and the futility of wasted young lives.”

Mr Hind said the ALHA had also asked the band to compose a song honouring the Aboriginal members of the 11th Light Horse who played a prominent role in the successful charge of the railway station at Semakh.

“The story of the 11th and 12th regiments at Semakh has been overshadowed by other battles in World War I but we feel it is important to tell this important moment in Indigenous military history using song.”

Historian and author Kelvin Crombie documented the story behind the charge of the light horse in 1917 and the re-enactment in 2007 in his book Journey to Beersheba.

Mr Crombie was also the guide for the Australian ALHA re-enactment group in 2007 and he said the trip to Israel  this year was a unique opportunity.

Mr Crombie said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were both scheduled to be in attendance, and the highlight was a three day horse ride through the desert from Shellal to Beersheba.

The Parkerville Baptist fundraising concert will run from 2pm to  4.30pm and $15 tickets can be bought at the door.

Another In The Footsteps of the Light Horse Tour fundraiser, will be held at the Eastern District Alliance Church in Caversham on Saturday, August 5 from 2pm until 4.30pm.

For more information go to the website http://tinyurl.com/l2g4kfh

About Rashelle Predovnik

Rashelle has been the senior journalist at Echo News since June 2011. She was a finalist in the WA Media Awards in 2015 and 2013. In 2014 Rashelle took out the whole print category in the Deborah Kirwan Media Awards for a series of stories she wrote that has positively influenced community attitudes towards seniors. In 2013, Rashelle was a finalist in the Consumer Protection Media Awards. Before joining Echo News, Rashelle worked at WA Business News, Media Monitors, she was a freelance journalist and taught journalism units at Murdoch University.

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