Theirs not to reason why!

Theirs but to do and die:

Into the valley of Death

  Rode the six hundred

 Cannon to the right of them,

Cannon to the left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volley’d and thunder’d;

Storm’d at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of Hell

Rode the six hundred.

This famous poem by Poet Laureate Lord Tennyson after the “Charge of the Light Brigade” by British cavalry in the Crimean War in 1854 highlights how soldiering, sailors and airmen included, is in so many ways the same today as it was way back then.  Doing the hard jobs, in spite of personal risk is what wearing the uniform of the Australian Defence Force in the service of our nation is all about.

The last ever charge of cavalry in the history of modern warfare was by Polish Uhlans at the Battle of Krojanty, at the outset of WWII against German Panzer tanks.  It was however, the Charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba when the 4th Light Horse Brigade’s bold charge against Turkish positions, seizing the critical watering wells, became part of our folklore and the last successful charge by cavalry in history on 31st October 1917.

The unique nature of military service at any time requires servicemen and women to sign over their individual rights to their country, an actual document that means they have signed a blank cheque payable up to and including the value of their life, a price so tragically still being payed in Afghanistan today.

“Lest We Forget”