Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 September 2019
Until the Middle East descended into its fourth major war in a quarter of a century, 1973 had been more or less like any other year for Australia’s observers with the UN Truce Supervision Organization (Untso). On Anzac Day, they conducted a dawn service at the Mount Scopus war cemetery, overlooking the ‘misty orange-coloured’ Old City of Jerusalem. Beside the wreaths they laid a sheaf of oats for the horses of the 10th Light Horse Regiment, which the senior Australian, Lieutenant Colonel Keith Howard, had once commanded. Observers and their families often found the petty hardships and shortages of life in the Middle East frustrating, but for many they were outweighed by the heady mix of history, archaeology, culture and politics that the region offered.