The Last Charge of the Australian Light Horse by Peter Fitzsimons


On 31st October 1917, as the day’s light faded, the Australian Light Horse charged against their enemy. Eight hundred men and horses galloped four miles across open country, towards the artillery, rifles and machine guns of the Turks occupying the seemingly unassailable town of Beersheba. What happened in the next hour changed the course of history.

This brave battle and the extraordinary adventures that led to it are brought vividly to life by Australia’s greatest storyteller, Peter FitzSimons. It is an epic tale of farm boys, drovers, bank clerks, dentists, poets and scoundrels transported to fight a war half a world away, and is full of incredible characters: from Major Banjo Paterson to Lawrence of Arabia; the brilliant writer Trooper Ion Idriess and the humble General Harry Chauvel; the tearaway Test fast bowler ‘Tibby’ Cotter and the infamous warhorse, Bill the Bastard. All have their part to play in the enthralling, sprawling drama of the Australian Light Horse.

Theirs was a war fought in an ancient land with modern weapons; where the men of the Light Horse were trained in sight of the pyramids, drank in the brothels of Cairo and fought through lands known to them only as names from the Bible.

The Last Charge of the Australian Light Horse traces the hard path of the Light Horse from the bleakest of starts – being deprived of their horses and fighting at Gallipoli in the tragic Battle of the Nek – to triumph and glory in the desert. Revealing the feats of the Australians who built the legend, it is a brilliantly told tale of courage, resilience and derring-do from Australia’s favourite storyteller.