Barada Gorge, 30 September 1918

Accession Number ART09755
Collection type Art
Measurement framed: 89.1 x 109.5 x 8 cm; unframed: 72 x 92 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Lambert, George
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Ottoman Empire: Syria, Barada Gorge, United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made 1921-1927
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

A section of the Barada Gorge, showing the road and railway route through the eastern mountains where fleeing Turkish troops and German machine-gunners were confronted by the 5th Australian Light Horse Brigade blocking the escape route. The 2nd New Zealand Machine Gun Squadron was also attached to the 5th Light Horse. Australian soldiers from the Light Horse are seen on the heights above the gorge. On 30 September 1918 the Allied forces were closing in on Damascus, capturing prisoners among the demoralised retreating Turkish armies. In the evening a column of Turkish troops and transports, endeavouring to flee from Damascus, were intercepted by men of the 3rd and 5th Light Horse Brigades. The 5th Light Horse Brigade fired until the road was littered with the bodies of men and animals and the wreckage of transport wagons. Other allied forces including British aircraft also assisted in the attack. The official war artist, George Lambert, visited this spot in mid June 1919 and made three preliminary oil studies. From these he later worked up this major painting which was began in London in 1921 and was completed in Lambert's Randwick studio in Sydney where it was purchased by the Memorial in 1927.