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New Zealand's role in World War One Israel campaign remembered 100 years on

It might not be as famous as Gallipoli, but another battle is today being remembered 100 years on, this time an Anzac victory.   

New Zealand mounted soldiers took part in the battle of Beersheba, now part of Israel, as the allies advanced on the Turkish-held fortress town of Gaza.

Students at Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School in Mangere have planted 246 trees, one for each New Zealand soldier killed in what was then called Palestine during World War One. 

They included 23-year-old trooper Robert Miller from Mangere who rode his horse into battle at Beersheba. 

"He was injured and his hand was injured. And he went to the military hospital and that was heeled obviously and then he went back out and died 100 years ago today," said Sarah Simpson, Robert's great grand-niece. 

Eight Kiwis died that day. 

The students at Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate are learning about Robert's story and wanted to plant a special magnolia tree for him. 

"Robert mounted his horse and bravely fell into formation with his fellow Anzacs. As they courageously galloped towards the town of Beersheva they were met with enemy fire," said Sam Sau, one of the school students at the planting ceremony.

The trees have been donated by the Jewish community. They'll form a protective fence for the school and be a lasting tribute to the soldiers.

New Zealand soldiers were in charge of securing a key look out point near Beersheba, allowing the Australian light horse brigade to advance in what would be the last great cavalry charge in history, a big moment in the campaign. 

"This battle of course freed the area of the rule of the Ottoman Empire," said David Robinson, Honorary Consul for Israel. 

The Kiwi contribution has been remembered today throughout the country. 

Preparations are underway for commemorations in Israel where New Zealand's Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy, will be attending services later tonight. 

Kiwi soldiers took part in the Battle of t Beersheba 100 years ago. Source: 1 NEWS