Michael A Berriman


The Light Horse Charge At Beersheba. - Poem by Michael A Berriman

This is a battle for young and old ears
A loosely held secret of some 100 years
The battle of Beersheba won with bayonet and horse
And the skill of our riders, our most precious resource.

Beersheba so well placed, on a map it was grand
A railhead with water and surrounded by sand
It was here the Allies fought their fight so well
Commanded no less than by brave Harry Chauvel.

The Light Horse formed up behind a sand ridge
Some four miles of ground, via open sand bridge
It led to the Ottomans and deep trenches so real
And the Light Horse feared weapon, two feet of cold steel.

Rifles were slung over young soldiers backs
A bayonet they carried to advance their attack
Final orders given and the last of the talk
They crested the ridge, their mounts 'at a walk'

The horsemen were tense, this charge now too real
One hand on the reins one hand held cold steel
The order was bellowed, ' move at the trot'
The ranks held positions and jokes there were not.

In half the two miles the enemy opened up
Most bullets flew high, but some hit their mark
Take the wells came the order from the 4th on the right
Win the battle today and we sleep here tonight.

The Light Horse now charging with a thousand dry cries
The dust and the sand bought tears to their eyes
What a magnificent spectacle, one observer did say
The charge at Beersheba, this was their best day.

A battery from Essex hit the enemy and their gun
The Light Horse were moving so fast on the run
They jumped the first trenches four feet wide and some too
Right over the defenders lept the Light Horse so few.

With bayonet then bullet they put enemy to flight
And continued with skirmishes until day became night
Some fifty odd horsemen slept the sleep of the dead
The Light Horse had won, their innocence shed.

This was a charge that history will acclaim
From this day on warfare was never the same
A courageous mix of rider and horse
Ending thousands of years of the great cavalry force.

MB 2016

Topic(s) of this poem: warfare

Form: Light Verse


Poet's Notes about The Poem

A poem retelling the Last great Cavalry charge in history. The taking of the town of Beersheba in Palestine in 1917 by the Australian Light Horse. Rifles were slung over their backs and the riders hand held bayonets which were used like swords.

Comments about The Light Horse Charge At Beersheba. by Michael A Berriman

  • Paul Warren (4/8/2016 8:40:00 PM)

    Good poem. I submitted a poem on this charge last year. War - The Charge at Beersheba. (Report)Reply

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  • Drtony Brahmin (4/8/2016 4:56:00 AM)

    Horses, death, killing. fierce battle, Beersheba in Palestine in 1917 such a terrible thing you are describing so well
    and descriptive bringing in how fierce a battle can be. thank you very much dear poet. tony
    (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 8, 2016



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