The Australian Light Horse 1917
Two stamps were issued as a joint Israel - Australia issue in May 2013 – The Australian Light Horse 1917 and The Battle of Beersheba 1917 (see the previous stamp, featured with the Hebrew article). They commemorate the role of the Australian forces in the British victory over the Ottoman army in Beersheba in 1917.
Description of the Stamps:
The Australian Light Horse 1917
The “Australian Soldier Park” was founded in Beersheba in 2008 to highlight the Australian Light Horsemen’s heroism and commemorate the memory of the fallen. At the center of the park stands a bronze statue of a mounted Australian light horseman, depicting the moment when the light horsemen breached the Ottoman army’s positions. A photo of the statue is featured on the stamp, against the background of a group of Australian light horsemen. The stamp tab features the Rising Sun ANZAC Hat Badge.
The Battle of Beersheba 1917
The Light Horse charge during the battle of Beersheba holds a significant place in the Australian army’s battle lore. The photograph that appears on the stamp was taken during a
reenactment of the battle that was conducted a year after Beersheba was conquered. The stamp tab features the ANZAC Slouch Hat worn by ANZAC soldiers in the Battle of Beersheba.
The stamps were designed by Simone Sakinofsky, Australia Post Design Studio, and Shlomit Ben-Zur.
On the friendship between Australia and Israel:
Israel and Australia are both young countries and both are located in regions replete with ancient history. Despite the great geographical distance between the two countries, they bear many similar characteristics: both were largely established and developed by immigrants who gathered from around the world, creating modern, progressive multi-cultural societies graced with an abundance of languages, religions and traditions belonging to its various communities.
Israel and Australia both lie in arid regions and have been very successful in coping with their
lack of water, turning desert areas into paradise. Through innovation and ingenuity, both countries have developed their local economies and have become world leaders in sophisticated hi-tech industries.
These two countries formed a bond 95 years ago, some 30 years before the establishment of the State of Israel. During WW-I, Australian troops fought alongside the British army to conquer The Land of Israel from under Ottoman rule. During the battle of Beersheba (October 31, 1917), which constituted the turning point in the campaign, the Australian Light Horse Brigade fought with extraordinary valor and decisiveness, thus determining the outcome of the battle.
The friendly Australian soldiers were remembered fondly by residents of the Jewish colonies of The Land of Israel. Warm ties were also formed with the Australian soldiers who were stationed in The Land of Israel during WW-II. Australia supported the establishment of a Jewish State in the historic United Nations vote on November 29, 1947 and recognized the State of Israel upon its establishment.
Israel and Australia maintain wide-scale trade relations and the two countries maintain close diplomatic ties, reinforcing and illustrating the historic bond forged on the battlefield.