Israel trek not required to mark Beersheba

Is it really necessary for platoons of our politicians to continually troop to the other side of the world, at public expense, to mark military milestones, (“Guts and glory: the last great cavalry charge that turned the tide of war”, October 31)?

In the latest example, the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and no doubt a large entourage, have trekked to Israel for the anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba. Would it not be more meaningful, poignant, and consistent with the Australian preference for the low key if they instead travelled to a small country town somewhere in Australia, where the cenotaph bears the names of those who served?

A commemoration of some of those who made the sacrifice on the land on which they lived, and probably among many of their local relatives? Muswellbrook comes to mind, not only because many of the men were at Beersheba, but also the horses that carried them hailed from the Upper Hunter region.

Michael Hinchey, New Lambton

In acknowledging the achievements of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade 100 years ago today, we must be very careful not to rewrite history.

General Chauvel’s great victory at Romani in August 1916 was Australia’s first military success.

Another important fact missing from most accounts is that the long approach march of the Desert Mounted Corps through the desert went entirely unnoticed by the enemy, due in no small part to the efforts of the Royal Flying Corps and the Australian Flying Corps maintaining air superiority throughout, despite having inferior machines to the Germans. The particular efforts of No 1 Squadron AFC were remarked on by General Allenby.

Gwynn Boyd, Mosman

[These letters appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 1st]