6 November 2017

Commemorative coin to mark Battle of Beersheba

The Australian Government has launched a commemorative coin to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Beersheba with sales supporting the Anzac Centenary Public Fund.

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dan Tehan and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack launched the coins at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne today.

The Battle of Beersheeba on 31 October 1917 was one of the great cavalry charges, where 800 Australians on horseback rode through heavy fire and engaged the Turkish line to capture the town of Beersheeba.

Mr Tehan said the Battle of Beersheba was a crucial victory that led to an opening in the Turkish flank that enabled Allied forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and advance into Palestine.

"As a nation we continue to honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who defend our country and our values," Mr Tehan said.

"The Australians who fought at Beersheba were volunteers a long way from home prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and that is something we must never forget."

Mr McCormack, who is responsible for the Royal Australian Mint, said it is important for these symbolic reminders as it encourages people all around Australia to reflect and share the story of bravery and heroic actions of our military personnel.

"The design of these commemorative coins artistically shows the Australian Light Horsemen in uniform at full charge across the arid Middle East, capturing the fervour of mounted warfare," Mr McCormack said.

"The detail emphasises the intensity of the charge and makes you want to know more about what happened which is exactly the intention of these coins – to share the story of the gallant actions fought by Australia in the Middle East during the First World War.

"A contribution from the sale of all collectible coins in the Royal Australian Mint's Official Anzac Centenary Coin Program is made to the Anzac Centenary Public Fund. The Public Fund contributes to a range of significant projects will help leave a lasting and unifying legacy for all Australians."

Available in base metal and fine silver these coins can be purchased from the Mint's website.