Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial,
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART12673
Title Ziza
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Power, H Septimus
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made 1935
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement framed: 181 x 272.5 cm x 12.5 cm ; Unframed 152.5 x 244.0


Depicts an unusual event that occurred on 28 September 1918. After the capture of Amman on the 25 September, the 5th Light Horse Brigade was ordered south along the Hejaz railway to intercept a Turkish force near Ziza, about 5,000 strong, which was moving north from Maan in an attempt to escape to Damascus. Australian forces permitted surrendering Turks to keep their arms in case they were attacked by hostile Arab tribesmen. The Turks, fearful of the Beni Sakr Arabs in the surrounding hills, waiting to loot and kill, were reluctant to give up their arms when surrendering to the Australians.
Brigadier General Ryrie, accompanied by two sheiks, galloped into Ziza and gave the Turks permission to retain their arms overnight, but informed them that if they attacked during the night their hostages would be shot. After years of fighting the two armies spent the night sharing food and talking. Next morning the Turks were disarmed and taken prisoner.
Septimus Power is well known for his superb large-scale paintings of horses in battle. In Ziza the artist has captured this remarkable desert drama.