Light Horse in the Middle East

Mounted on horseback in their wide-brimmed hats, the regiments of Australian light horse have often been depicted as the national arm of young Australia and the inheritors of the bushman spirit.

The light horse had to fight as infantry during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 and remained in the Middle East to fight across biblical lands and ancient battlefields. At the battle of Beersheba in October 1917 an Australian brigade made history in the last great mounted charge. Light horse regiments took part in the defence of Egypt, the fighting in the Sinai desert, and the strenuous campaign in Palestine and Syria until the Turks surrendered in October 1918.

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From Australia in Palestine, 1919, edited by H S Gullett and C Barrett, pg ii. Collection of the Australian War Memorial.

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H. Septimus Power

Damascus incident

oil on canvas

1923

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George Lambert First World War official war artist

A sergeant of the Light Horse in Palestine

oil on canvas

painted in London 1920

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

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Courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne