Beersheba Memorial ("The Charge)Print Page Print this page

12-September-2018 (John Huth)
12-September-2018 (John Huth)

Photographs supplied by John Huth / Sandra Brown / Henry Moulds

The sculpture "The Charge" commemorates those who fought in World War One, and the horses which did not return.

Beersheba, a heavily fortified town 43 kilometres from the Turkish bastion of Gaza, was the scene of an historic charge by the 4th Light Horse Brigade on 31 October 1917. Beersheba anchored the right end of a defensive line that stretched all the way from Gaza on the Mediterranean coast. After two failed attempts to attack Gaza frontally it was decided to outflank it by turning the Turkish line around Beersheba. The attack was launched at dawn on 31 October but by late afternoon the British 20 Corps had made little headway toward the town and its vital wells.

Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel, commanding the Desert Mounted Corps, thus ordered the 4th Light Horse Brigade forward to attempt to secure the position. Brigadier William Grant responded by ordering light horseman of the 4th and 12th Regiments to charge at the unwired Turkish trenches. Employing their bayonets as "swords" the momentum of the surprise attack carried them through the Turkish defences. The water supplies were saved and over 1,000 Turkish prisoners were taken. The fall of Beersheba thus opened the way for a general outflanking of the Gaza-Beersheba Line. After severe fighting Turkish forces abandoned Gaza on 6 November and began their withdrawal into Palestine.

Over 100 people gathered in Dirranbandi last Friday night at the official unveiling of the Beersheba memorial. The memorial which was funded through ANZAC Centenary Grants, is entitled To Beersheba, Brigadier General William Grant and ‘the men and the horses who couldn’t come home’. During the First World War, Dirranbandi was a point of embarkation for many men in the region and their horses who fought in the Great War.

The erection of this sculpture in Dirranbandi is the first memorial of remembrance to those who fought in wars in 50 years. The memorial which is now located at Railway St near the Goods Shed, as you first drive into town, is based of a sculpture by Ron Marshall.

Dirranbandi has had a long association with horses going back to the towns beginning and continues today with stock work, the Dirranbandi Show, Campdraft, Pony Club and Polocrosse. At the opening there were 20 riders mounted on horseback, as well as Colin War a member of a Light Horse Troop In full uniform.
Balonne Beacon, 15 December 2016. 



Address:Railway Street, , Dirranbandi, 4486
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.586067
Long: 148.227454
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:31-October-1917
Actual Event End Date:31-October-1917
Artist:Ron Marshall


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 9th December, 2016
Front Inscription

"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points."   Trooper Ion Idriess "The Desert Column" 1932

In memory of all who fought in the Great War 1914 - 1918 and their horses who could not come home

The Charge of Beersheba took place at dusk on 31. 10. 1917 and is remembered as the last great cavalry charge. The intention was to capture intact the water supply of the Beersheba wells for horse and rider; they were successful and were then in a position to move onto Jerusalem, a significant military victory in the Middle East War.

The charge by the 4th & 12th Light Horse Regiment of 800 horseman was led by Brigadier-General William Grant (1870 - 1939) who purchased the property Corack (Waldor) at Dirranbandi after the war and remained here until his death.

Further information is found on Dirranbandi Rail & River audio sign

Dirranbandi Arts Council & RSL 2016

This project is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

"The Charge" by Ron Marshall www.lighthorseart.com.au


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au