Battle of Beersheba by Ron Marshall on display at Morpeth Gallery

THE CHARGE: Ron Marshall's work, on display at Morpeth Gallery, commemorates 100 years since the last great horse charge in history. Picture: Ron Marshall

THE CHARGE: Ron Marshall's work, on display at Morpeth Gallery, commemorates 100 years since the last great horse charge in history. Picture: Ron Marshall

The assault on Berrsheba, a legendary battle in the First World War, was immortalised by Ron Marshall in his painting The Charge. The painting will be on display at Morpeth Gallery until April 23, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle.

The assault on Beersheba began at dawn. It was the first time the Australian Light Horse was used as pure cavalry, and it became history’s last great charge.

With time running out for the Australians to capture Beersheba, commanders ordered a mounted attack directly towards the town. 

As the Light Horse came over the top of the ridge and looked down the long, gentle open slope to Beersheba, they were spotted by Turkish gunners. The Turkish soldiers opened fire. 

But the Light Horse thundered closer, their pace too fast for the gunners. After three kilometres Turkish machine-guns opened fire from the flank, but British artillery rained down.

The Turkish trenches bristled with rifle fire some of the Australians dismounted and fought hand-to-hand while their fellow soldiers stormed the city.

Thirty one of the 12th and 4th Light Horses were killed and another 36 were wounded. But they captured more than 700.

The victory paved the way for the British troops to enter Jerusalem later that year. 

Ron Marshall will be at Morpeth Gallery throughout the exhibition to talk about his work, along with fellow artists Jennifer Marshall, John Bradley and Ian Hansen.

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