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A Light Horse Legend.
A Light Horse Legend. 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 25 May 1933, page 2

A Light Horse Legend.

Referring to a recently published warbook, "Wells of Beersheba: A Light Horse Legend," an Eastern States correspondent tells me that its reference to troop horses and a night march took him back "a whole lot of years." Commenting on chapter about the charge at Beersheba, my correspondent says that towards the close of the day General Chauvel informed Lord Allenby, that he was retiring to water his horses. The reply he got was "Water your horses in Beersheba and report to me."

That cannot be vouched for he says, but the next is true: Chauvel sent for Brigadier-General Grant (Queensland) and told him that Beersheba had to be taken. He, in turn, sent for the CO's of two of his regiments of lighthorse and informed them they were to charge from the flank. Colonel "Bill" Bourchier, one of the C.O.'s, asked for information about the intervening country. There was, none available. "Is there any wire?" was the next question, which was answered in the negative. My correspondent comments:-

"It is doubtful whether any charge has ever been made in more unfavourable circumstances than the one that followed. The infantry had been held up all day; the country had not been reconnoitred, and the charging troopers were not equipped with swords. Yet it came off and with the restultant surrender of the city the charge at Beersheba became an exploit notable in cavalry annals."

One naturally asks how they managed it and my correspondent states that on examinatipn of the backsights of the Turkish rifles supplied the answer. The defenders had opened fire at the galloping regiments at 1,000 yards and their officers had forgotten to alter the range as they came closer. Naturally, the bullets went flying overhead.

Those in the story:

1. Chauvel and Allenby

General Chauvel informed Lord Allenby, that he was retiring to water his horses. The reply he got was "Water your horses in Beersheba and report to me."

From the War Diary

1542 - Wire received from Desert Mounted Corps say that the water situation in Wadi Malah is not hopeful, and saying that, if Commander-in-Chief approved, it was proposed to send back all troops which had not watered to Bir Arara and Wadi el Imshash, if Bir Saba is not in our possession by nightfall.

When this message arrived, the Commander-in-Chief was away on a visit to the XX Corps at El Buggar. The above message was telephoned to him, and as a result the following message was sent to the Desert Mounted Corps: 1700 "Chief orders you to capture Beersheba today in order to secure water and take prisoners."

http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog/2076108/the-third-battle-of-gaza-palestine-z-day-31-october-1917-egyptian-expeditionary-force-war-diary-account/

2. Chauvel and Grant

Chauvel sent for Brigadier-General Grant (Queensland) and told him that Beersheba had to be taken.

See: "Put Grant straight at it."

http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog/1847762/put-grant-straight-at-it/

3. Bourchier's Actions

Bourchier, CO 4th ALHR, account about the fall of Beersheba

http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog/1851793/bourchier-co-4th-alhr-account-about-the-fall-of-beersheba/

Cameron, CO 12th ALHR, account about the fall of Beersheba

http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog/1851782/cameron-co-12th-alhr-account-about-the-fall-of-beersheba/