Guest speaker Christopher Dawson was born in Perthshire, Scotland and followed his father, an army officer, to his various appointments in Europe. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cambridge in 1965, and more recently received his Masters of Military History from the University of Buckingham. Christopher was a journalist, and later a section editor, for more than 30 years in Australia and in England. He is a former councilor and Mayor of Woollahra, a former army reservist, and is an active member of Legacy.
Christopher's Dissertation for the University of Buckingham was: "In early October 1918, the war in the Middle East almost over, Lieutenant General Sir Philip Chetwode, commander of XX Corps, wrote to Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel, commander of the Desert Mountain Corps, that while the infantry divisions had played their part, it was the Light Horse units ‘who put the lid on the Turks’ aspirations forever.”
General Archie Wavell said “the Palestine campaigns have been acclaimed as a triumph for cavalry and as a vindication of that arm in modern war. And quite certainly the skillful use of the mounted arm is the outstanding feature of the operations. But the true lesson is not so much the value of the horseman as the value and power of mobility, however achieved."
The Eastern front was the first to claim victory in 1918. The EEF had proved resilient in both physical and moral sense. The horses and men had achieved probably the last such victory of a force reliant on horse mounted power. Armoured vehicles, tanks and helicopters now dominate the battlefield. No more need for horse management, vets and remount depots. After over two years of experience these horsemen were able to take part in a corps sized cavalry exploitation and pursuit that destroyed three enemy armies and advance hundreds of kilometres.
It was the cavalry and light horse units “who put the lid on the Turks aspirations forever."
This is sure to be interesting talk on the vital role played by the Australia Light Horse in Defeating the Ottoman Empire. Book now to avoid missing out!
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