Author(s): Paul Daley
A hundred years ago in October 1917 members of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade participated in what is now regarded as the last great successful cavalry charge. Waving bayonets overhead in the dying light, they raced across six kilometres of exposed ground in Palestine, surprising the well-entrenched Turks. It was the decisive blow in the British capture of the strategic stronghold of Beersheba.
The story of this remarkable military victory has largely slipped through the cracks of history, eclipsed in Australian sentiment by stories of dramatic defeat and loss at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.
Paul Daley goes in search of the story of Beersheba. What he uncovers is a story of ordinary men capable of extraordinary acts, as he sheds new light on a dark episode starkly at odds with the Anzac mythology.
Paul Daley is an author, journalist, essayist, short story writer and playwright whose books-including Beersheba, shortlisted for the 2011 Prime Minister's History Prize-have been acknowledged in major Australian literary awards. He has won numerous journalism prizes, including two Walkley Awards. In 2016 he was named the National Library of Australia's inaugural Creative Arts Fellow for Australian Writing. He writes about Indigenous history and Australian national identity for The Guardian and is completing a novel, Fall-Line, the sequel to Challenge (MUP, 2014.)