Posted by: Gregoryno6 | October 31, 2018

October 31 – Australia’s 4th Light Horse Brigade charges on Beersheba.

A date whose historic associations go beyond trick or treat.

Another fine piece of military art by Ian Coate.

From the Australian War Memorial, first hand accounts of the charge.

We got mounted, cantered about a quarter of a mile up a bit of a rise lined up along the brow of a hill paused a moment, and then went at ’em, the ground was none too smooth, which caused our line to get twisted a bit . . . Captain Davies let out a yell at the top of his voice . . . that started them all we spurred our horses . . . the bullets got thicker…three or four horses came down, others with no riders on kept going, the saddles splashed with blood, here and there a man running toward a dead horse for cover, the Turk’s trenches were about fifty yards on my right, I could see the Turk’s heads over the edge of the trenches squinting along their rifles, a lot of the fellows dismounted at that point thinking we were to take the trenches, but most of us kept straight on, where I was there was a clear track with trenches on the right and a redoubt on the left, some of the chaps jumped clear over the trenches in places, some fell into them, although about 150 men got through and raced for the town, they went up the street yelling like madmen – Trooper Edward Dengate.

We were all at the gallop yelling like mad some had bayonets in their hand others their rifle then it was a full stretch gallop at the trenches . . . the last 200 yards or so was good going and those horses put on pace and next were jumping the trenches with the Turks underneath . . . when over the trenches we went straight for the town – Private Keddie.

Incredibly, despite riding head on into gunfire, the 4th Light Horse lost only 35 men. Another 39 were wounded, against far more severe losses for the Turks. The low number of casualties echoes another battle: Long Tan, fifty years later, where the Diggers taught the Viet Cong not to take them lightly.


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