A number of Toowoomba identities play important roles in `The Charge of the ANZACs documentary released nationally on November 5.
Tom Dawson (QLD Fire and emergency services) and Barry Rodgers OAM (Emu Gully Founder) are among the numerous locals who play key roles in the one-hour film, shot in Egypt, Turkey and Israel. The documentary retraces the footsteps of the Australian Light horse in World War I.“I think this documentary is important in highlighting a number of battles that Australia was involved in during the Middle East campaign,” said Mr Rodgers.
The film captures the gripping re-enactment of the famous charge of Beersheba, which took place on the afternoon of October 31, 1917.Today it is regarded as one of the greatest military charges of the modern era, as the capture of Beersheba helped to change the course of World War I in the Middle East. The re-enactment by the Australian Light horse team almost did not go ahead because of the conflict between Israel and Gaza.
“There was rocket fire coming in from Gaza, and the Australian embassy recommended that we cancel the re-enactment 24 hours before it was planned, but to their credit the team chose to go ahead with the charge,” said Barry Rodgers. “Hundreds came out to watch. It was a pretty special moment.” The Australian Light horse association organised the re-enactment, which is designed to promote World War I military history. “The history and heritage of the Light horse is extremely important to us, and this film gives us a glimpse of the incredible ANZAC spirit that was developed in these men,” said Tom Dawson.
The documentary follows the emotional journey of a number of descendants of the original light horse soldiers. “We at the light horse never want to forget the immense role these men played in the great war,” said Tom Dawson.