The 4th Light Horse Regiment was raised in Melbourne in August 1914 as the cavalry regiment for the 1st Division of the Australian Imperial Force. Contrary to the stereotype, over 20 per cent of the original regiment were from the city.
After arriving in Egypt in December 1914, the 4th Light Horse would be sent to reinforce the infantry at Gallipoli – without their horses. After leaving the peninsula in December 1915, the 4th Light Horse continued to serve in the Middle East. They defended the Suez Canal before moving north to face the Ottoman Empire.
The regiment's first major battle took place on 31 October 1917 – the Battle of Beersheba. Hailed as the last great cavalry charge, the Battle of Beersheba would become one of the most famous encounters of the First World War.
Almost a year later, a patrol of the 4th Light Horse would be the first Allied troops to enter Damascus. The capture of this city by the Allies signalled the end of the war in the Middle East and less than a month later, the Ottoman Empire surrendered.
Shrine Governor Colonel Jason Cooke.
Reviewed 23 November 2023