Story written by Madeline Crittenden
Madeline Crittenden is a journalist for Fairfax Media at the Southern Highland News.
Display commemorates 100th year anniversary of the Light Horse Charge at Beersheba
John Crozier Beacom was born in Burrawang on April 15, 1882. On August 13, 1918 John was killed in action in World War I.
A portrait of John in his uniform is one of the key historic pieces at Mittagong Antique Centre’s newest display.
October and November are important months in Australia’s wartime history – this year more so than ever.
October 31 marks the 100th year anniversary of the Light Horse Charge at Beersheba and November 11 is the 99th anniversary of Remembrance Day.
To commemorate these two events, Mittagong Antique Centre has composed a military display window, with pieces from military specialists John Gallagher and Virgo Lentzkow.
Mr Gallagher has been collecting pieces of military history for the past 40 years and was excited to share such an important historical moment with the Southern Highlands.
“It’s quite rare to get a direct connection to the Southern Highlands, and we have that here,” he said.
“If people have an interest or a family member involved, we are happy for people to come and have a look and see these pieces, most of them are also for sale.”
The battle of Beersheba took place on 31 October 1917 as part of the wider British offensive collectively known as the third Battle of Gaza.
The final phase of this all-day battle was the famous mounted charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade.
At dusk members of the brigade stormed the Turkish defences and seized the town of Beersheba.
The capture of Beersheba enabled British Empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza.
A Light Horse uniform is another of the key pieces on display, and one of the most important according to Mr Gallagher.
“It has the original water bottle, the badges are original so there are lots of original bits, but to get an original uniform is very rare,” he said.
Another important item on display was described as a bit of a “tear-jerker.”
“It’s a photo of a soldier and his family, hopefully home after the war and not beforehand,” Mr Gallagher said.
Light horse spurs, a bugle, Victoria Medals, a Light horse saddle and a signal mirror are just a few of the other interesting collectibles displayed in the window.
“There lots of pieces her to enjoy and lots that I think a lot of people would be interested in,” Mr Gallagher said.
The window display will be held until Sunday, November 12 at Mittagong Antique Centre.
The store is located at 85-87 Main Street, Mittagong.