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Beersheba

Centenary of the Battle of Beersheba and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign

Be'er Sheva, Israel

Commonwealth War Cemetery, Be'er Sheva Israel Centenery of the Battle of Beersheba.

*** Due to high demand, registrations have met the safe site capacity. You can still register to be placed on a waitlist. ***

Snapshot
Service: Centenary of the Battle of Beersheba and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign
Date: Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Times:

The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service

Location: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery

This is a joint Australian and New Zealand Centenary Service

Site Access (before commencement of the service)*
6.00am – 8.30am
*Note: all attendance pass holders must clear security screening process and be in the commemorative service area by 8.30am to be able to attend this Service. No access will be permitted for late arrivals.

Commemorative Program
6.30am – 8.30am - Reflective Program
8.30am – 9.00am - Spirit of Place
9.00am – 10.00am - Centenary Service

Park of the Australian Soldier Service

Location: Park of the Australian Soldier

This is an Australian Service

Site Access (before commencement of the service)*
2.00pm – 4.00pm
*Note: it is recommended attendance pass holders clear security screening processes and be in the public viewing area by 4.00pm to view this Service on screens in the Park.

Commemorative Program
2.30pm – 4.30pm - Prelude
4.30pm – 5.00pm - Service

Seating style: Varied - limited grandstands will be available with bucket-style seats and grassed area with no seats
Venue: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery and the Park of the Australian Soldier, Be'er Sheva, Israel
Weather: Hot to very hot
Attendance passes: Required - Register for the waitlist here
Visa requirements:

Australian passport holders – No

Check your visa requirements

Security: Airport-style screening
Important notes:

Australian Government led events

The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service will be held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery at 9.00am. This is a joint Australian and New Zealand Commemorative Service. The Cemetery will open at 6.00am and security screening will commence from this time. All attendance pass holders must clear security screening processes by 8.30am to be able to attend this Service.

The Park of the Australian Soldier Service will be held at the Park of the Australian Soldier at 4.30pm. The Park will open at 2.00pm and security screening will commence from this time. It is recommended that attendance pass holders clear security screening processes by 4.00pm. Please note that seating in the actual commemorative area will be restricted. Attendees will be able to view the service on screens in the Park. Immediately following this service a Gala BBQ will be held at the Park of the Australian Soldier, organised by the Pratt Foundation.

Attendance pass holders gain entry free of charge to the The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai–Palestine Campaign Centenary Service, the Park of the Australian Soldier Service, and the Pratt Foundation Gala BBQ.

Other events

The Australian Government is aware that the municipality of Be’er Sheva and other organisations are planning a number of events in the city of Be’er Sheva to coincide with the centenary. These include a civic parade, a re-enactment of the charge of the Light Horse and a Turkish memorial service. These events are not being organised or conducted by the Australian or New Zealand Governments. Attendance pass holders should note that attendance at these and any other non-Australian Government led events on 31 October will be at the discretion of the event organiser of these events.

A re-enactment of the charge of the Light Horse is anticipated to be held at 2.15pm at the Be’er Sheva Riverside Park by the Australian Light Horse Association. For further information please refer to here.

New Zealand led events

In addition to the events identified above, a New Zealand National Service may be conducted at 2.00pm (timing to be confirmed) at Tel el Saba by the New Zealand Government. For further information please refer here.

Allocation of Attendance Passes:

The allocation of attendance passes via the registration system is on a first-in basis and demand for attendance at the services has been higher than the safe capacity. Due to the high demand anyone now wishing to register will have their names added to the waitlist. Those on the waitlist will be contacted if further attendance passes become available and they will be offered to waitlisted visitors sequentially based on their date of registration.

Links

Getting to Be’er Sheva

Be’er Sheva is a city on the edge of the Negev Desert in southern Israel and is approximately 80 km south-west of Jerusalem and 100 km south of Tel Aviv.

Public transport is available from both major cities. Trains run from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva. It is highly recommended that you refer to the Smart traveller website for the latest updates on public transport in these area.

Accessible Seating - Beersheba

At the Beersheba commemorations in Israel in October 2017, limited accessible seating support is available at the Joint Australian and New Zealand Commemorative Service (Beersheba War Cemetery) and at the Park of the Australian Soldier Memorial Service (Park of the Australian Soldier). Please note that indicating a request for accessible seating on your registration for an attendance pass does not automatically result in provision of this support. Support is provided on a ‘most at need’ basis and assistance cannot be guaranteed as capacity is limited. Visitors with an accessibility requirement should identify themselves to a staff member on arrival at the coach set-down point at these sites and register for accessibility seating support, if they have not already identified they have mobility or medical issues in the attendance pass registration system.

Accessible Seating support for successful applicants includes:

  • Designated accessible seating area for the applicant and one carer (the carer must have their own valid attendance pass). There is capacity for wheelchairs in this area, however, wheelchairs are not supplied.
  • Accessible toilet access.
  • Please note that you will still need to walk/transit approximately 300 meters from the entry point to the accessible seating stand.

Accessible seating support does not include one-on-one carers, mobility aids or other supports. If this assistance is required, please ensure you bring it with you.

You should consult with your doctor regarding the conditions you are likely to experience on site to ensure you can safely travel to Israel.

Service Specific Visitor Items

Information Tent

An Information Tent (within the coach drop off area), will operate on 31 October before The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service. Staff will be on hand to provide information about the service for attendance pass holders.

Laying a Wreath

Members of the public who wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute will have the opportunity to do so at the conclusion of The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service.

If you wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute at The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service, you will need to bring this with you and register your details on the morning of 31 October at the Wreath Registration Tent (located in the area immediately after you clear security screening) and before you enter the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery. Upon registering to lay a wreath you will be provided an information sheet with instructions for laying your wreath at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery.

The proceedings will be announced by the Master of Ceremonies. Extreme care is recommended to all attendance pass holders as there may be trip hazards (you will need to be able to step up onto the raised surface of the Stone of Remembrance). Please do not climb on cemetery infrastructure or other service infrastructure to take photographs.

Please note that you will need to organise your own wreath or floral tribute. It is your responsibility to carry it with you, care for it and transport it to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery. There are no facilities or arrangements for storage or transport of personal wreaths at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Beersheba War Cemetery. Your wreath must remain in your possession at all times.

Pre-Registration for Wreath laying at The Battle of Beersheba and Sinai-Palestine Campaign Centenary Service (Commonwealth War Graves Beersheba War Cemetery)

Wreath laying by Direct Descendants

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) would like to hear direct from Direct Descendants of veterans of The Battle of Beersheba and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign who wish to pre-register their intent to participate in public wreath laying at this Service. For Direct Descendants wishing to Lay a wreath or floral tribute, please email and include the following information in your email:

• Your attendance pass registration Application ID Number
• Name and title of the Direct Descendant laying the wreath or floral tribute
• Name and title of the veteran of The Battle of Beersheba and the Sinai–Palestine Campaign (for whom the wreath or floral tribute is in honour of)

Please Note: On the morning of 31 October, you will still need to present to the Wreath Registration Tent to receive an information sheet with instructions for laying your wreath.

Wreath laying by other members of the public

For other members of the public who wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute at this Service, please email and include the following information in your email:

• Your attendance pass registration Application ID Number
• Your name and title
• The organisation/group you are representing Please Note: On the morning of 31 October, you will still need to present to the Wreath Registration Tent to receive an information sheet with instructions for laying your wreath.

Weather Protection at Beersheba

As there is limited shade in the Beersheba War Cemetery and the Park of the Australian Soldier, attendance pass holders should be prepared for hot weather and have sun protection for the whole day. Attendance pass holders should bring with them a wide brim hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Shade-umbrellas are not permitted.

Plan ahead and arrive on time at the commemorations

Attendance pass holders should leave plenty of time to arrive at the site if travelling by road. Traffic in Israel moves very slowly during peak time on major aterial roads. Long delays can be expected.

Wearing of medals

Visitors entitled to wear medals are encouraged to do so at the Commemoration, but are reminded that medals belonging to a relative, i.e. not awarded to you individually, are to be worn on the right chest.

Further reading

Visitors wishing to locate a particular grave or name on a memorial to the missing should consult the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website to identify the exact location of the grave or name on a memorial to the missing prior to travelling overseas. Limited assistance may be available on the day.

Contact Information

In Australia

Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Telephone: 1300 364 002
Email: overseascommemorations@dva.gov.au
Facebook: DVA Aus / Anzac Centenary
Twitter: @DVAAus

For Consular Assistance in Israel

Telephone: +972 3 6935 000
Email: telaviv.embassy@dfat.gov.au
Have you registered on Smart traveller? Visit Smart traveller for the latest travel advice.

Emergency helpline

Consular Emergency Centre 24 Hour Phone Service:
Telephone: 1300 555 135 within Australia (local call cost) or
Telephone: +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia

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