The charge at Beersheba on 31 October 1917 is remembered as the last great cavalry charge.
Lt-General Harry Chauvel, the Australian commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, ordered the 4th Light Horse Brigade to make a mounted attack directly towards the town. The Brigade assembled behind rising ground 6km south-east of Beersheba with the 4th Light Horse Regiment on the right, the 12th Light Horse Regiment on the left and the 11th Light Horse Regiment in reserve.
The Australian Light Horse was to be used purely as cavalry for the first time. Although they were not equipped with cavalry sabres, the Turks who faced the long bayonets held by the Australians did not consider there was much difference between a charge by cavalry and a charge by mounted infantry. The Light Horse moved off at the trot, and almost at once quickened to a gallop. As they came over the top of the ridge and looked down the long, gentle open slope to Beersheba, they were seen by the Turkish gunners, who opened fire with shrapnel. But the pace was too fast for the gunners. After 3km Turkish machine-guns opened fire from the flank, but they were detected and silenced by British artillery. The rifle fire from the Turkish trenches was wild and high as the Light Horse approached. The front trench and the main trench were jumped and some men dismounted and then attacked the Turks with rifle and bayonet from the rear. Some galloped ahead to seize the rear trenches, while other squadrons galloped straight into Beersheba.
The 4th and 12th Light Horse casualties were 31 killed and 36 wounded; they captured over 700 men.
Source: Australian War Memorial Return Peter