Paul Warren

Gold Star - 66,014 Points (ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA)

War - Ww1 - The Charge At Beersheba - Poem by Paul Warren

The Australian Light Horse had rode all night
And the troopers were all spoiling for a fight
For they remembered mates lose on the fatal shore
When the Turks defeated the Gallipoli Invasion flaw

But Chauvel wanted to wait 'til the sun was down
And so they rested all day in front of Beersheba town
At 4.30 pm on the 31st October 1917 he called Grant in
And gave him the order to attack in full charge to begin

So the troopers lined up with the strongest at the front row
And Grant told them all the charge would be a great show
Without a sabre they were told to draw their bayonet
And they would face the entrenched Turks in their bent

So they started off at a slow trot in breast a-line
The shells fell amongst them in a shrapnel whine
The troopers rode as they yelled the bush calls of Coo-eee
And in the battle excitement they all would in glory see

So the valiant horsemen rode on with shells and bullets flying about
Some fell dead or wounded but still the others rode their courage to flout
By now the charging troopers where riding hard in full battle cry
They kept on charging towards their foe and didn't dismount on by

They galloped as nearer the trenches they came
The horses smelt the wells as they came into the frame
And their thirst drove their mounts faster on
As their parched mouth and thirst became their urgent song

The German and Turkish officers stood behind the trench site
And waited for the Light Horse to dismount to fight
In other battles they had come to expect this to occur
As the Light Horse was mounted infantry and not calvary to defer

They didn't dismount and the surprise meant Turks were unprepared
And their gun sights meant they were firing high as fared
The Light Horse was able to ride under the Turkish guns
And attack the trenches as the Turk soldiers away runs

But the Turkish bullets sometimes found their mark
And Light Horsemen fell from their mounts into the trenches dark
Here the fight became desperate and was hand to hand
This was the fight that made this charge so grand

The German officers ran to destroy the wells
One and then two were blown in desperate spells
But the horsemen were too good and saved the day
With seventeen wells saved and precious water to stay

When the fight had finished and the Turks rounded up
The horses were led in to have their fill of the water sup
And the Light Horse opened up the Palestine and Syria land
To be liberated from the Ottoman Empire in a grand plan.

© Paul Warren Poetry

Topic(s) of this poem: war

Form: Prose Poem

Poet's Notes about The Poem

The Australian Light Horse are still remembered in the Middle East for liberating it from the Turks in the Desert War campaign of the Great War. The charge at Beersheba was one of the last ever by mounted troops. Chauvel was the Lt General in charge and Grant the brigadier in the charge. The Turks were from those troops who won on Gallipoli and so thought they had the measure of the British and Australian forces. Lest we Foregt.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 23, 2015

Poem Edited: Thursday, January 12, 2017

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