4th/19th Prince of Wales's Light Horse Regiment Unit History Room, Macleod
Service dress of General Sir Murray Bourchier, complete with jacket, trousers, shirt, tie, boots (high rise),Sam Browne belt, peaked cap, medal ribbons, badges of rank, medal ribbons
Sir Murray William James Bourchier (1881-1937), grazier, soldier and politician, was born on 4 April 1881 at Pootilla, Bungaree, Victoria, eldest son of Edward Bourchier, Geelong-born farmer, and his wife Francis (Fanny), née Cope. In 1878 Edward and his three brothers had taken up four adjoining selections on the Murray River near Tocumwal. Within a few years their properties had expanded considerably: Edward's, near Strathmerton, was called Woodland Park; the other three were known collectively as Boomagong. After a private education in Melbourne, Murray returned to Woodland Park. From 1909 until the outbreak of World War I he commanded a troop of light horse at Numurkah, attending annual camps and courses.
Bourchier's military service was distinguished. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in August 1914 and sailed as a lieutenant in the 4th Light Horse Regiment, serving seven months on Gallipoli. After the Sinai campaign in 1916-17, during which he was promoted lieutenant-colonel commanding his regiment, he made the crucial final assault on Beersheba. On 31 October 1917 he led his men, many of them from his own district, at full gallop over two miles into Turkish entrenchments and on for a further two miles (3.2 km) into Beersheba to capture vital wells before the Turks could destroy them. Lacking sabres, the regiment used bayonets held in their hands as shock weapons. For this exploit he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and earned the sobriquet 'Bourchier of Beersheba'. Eleven months later, after fighting north through Palestine, he commanded a joint force of the 4th and 12th Light Horse regiments (Bourchier Force) in the final advance on Damascus; on entering the city the 4th captured 12,000 Turks and set about relieving their sufferings.
Bourchier was three times mentioned in dispatches. He was appointed C.M.G. in June 1919 and his A.I.F. appointment ended in October. In 1921 he was promoted colonel, commanding the 5th Cavalry Brigade, and in 1931 brigadier, in charge of the 2nd Cavalry Division. He returned to Strathmerton but later farmed a property at Katandra, which he named Kuneitra. - Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography