beersheba book

Join our exciting drawing competition with attractive prizes!

About the competition

The Art Competition has now closed and the prize-winning group of students have been notified. 

Our prize-winning ceremony will now be held at Caulfield RSL, 4 St Georges Road Elsternwick, in Mebourne on Friday August 18.  Doors open at 10am for a 10.30am start.  It will finish at 12.30pm.  The top prize-winning entries will be displayed at the Caulfield Race Course event on August 19.  The public will be able to view the exhibition any time from August 20 for the next 3 months at the Caulfield RSL.   

October 31, 2017 is the 100th Anniversary of the Light Horse charge which took place at Beersheba in Palestine. This competition is to encourage students to study this lesser-known part of WW1 history and visually portray the ANZAC characteristics of mateship, courage, perseverance and sacrifice displayed by the Light Horsemen with special reference to the interaction of horses and riders.

The Battle of Beersheba

After trekking through the desert for 3 nights with little water, the town of Beersheba on the eastern flank of the of the Turkish Line stretching from Gaza had to be taken in one day to capture the water supply for the men and horses. The British bombarded the trenches in the morning, the New Zealanders fought gamely to take the high point of Tel el Saba, but by mid-afternoon the town was still strongly held. General Chauvel opted for a do-or-die charge with two regiments of Australian Light Horse (about 800 men and horses). They charged 6 km over open rocky ground in the full face of the entrenched Turks, artillery and machine gun fire and German bomber aircraft, jumping the trenches and galloping into town just before most of the mined wells could be blown up. Against incredible odds only 31 were killed, 36 injured and 70 horses died. Their reckless courage stunned the opposition and secured their place forever as ‘the last great cavalry charge in history’. This was the pivotal event in a largely successful campaign in the Sinai, Palestine and Syria which led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the re-writing of the map of the Middle East.

136,000 horses went to war and only one returned. There were 32,000 Australian men and 40,000 horses in the Palestinian campaign and the casualties were 1,394 dead and 4,851 wounded. This competition seeks to remember them as special centenary tribute. It is named after Harold Thomas Bell (alias Wickham) who enlisted in the Light Horse at 16 years old (claiming to be 21), joined the troops just before Beersheba, died from wounds to his leg from the charge and is buried in the Beersheba War Cemetery.

Theme - Mates

The contribution of the ANZAC horses and riders in WW1


First Prize: A Trip for the winning student and an accompanying adult to the Light Horse Commemorations at Be’er Sheva in Israel on October 31, 2017. Value approx $11,000 -$12,000.
Second Prize: A signed limited edition print of choice from the Light Horse collection of Jennifer and Ron Marshall – Value $500
Third Prizes: 2 x Light Horse Slouch Hats with Emu feathers – Value $250 each
Honourable Mentions: 6 prizes of Light Horse memorabilia
All finalists will have their work displayed at Queens Hall, Victorian Parliament House on August 16, Caulfield Race Course on August 19, 2017, and thereafter at Caulfield RSL until October 31.

Who can enter?

The competition is open to Australian, New Zealand or Israeli citizens living in Australia currently in school years 7-10. The work must be an original, unassisted artwork completed during the school years of Years 7 or 10 and not entered in any other competition.

When do entries close?

Entries open on April 1 and close at 12 midnight on July 31.
Further information and entry forms can be downloaded pdfhere
Enquiries: Jill This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0431 403 843.


Recommended resources


  • Curry, J., Victory – Beersheba 100th Anniversary, Willdeer, 2016
  • Daley Paul, Beersheba - A Journey through Australia’s forgotten war, Melb Uni Press, 2009
  • Idriess, I., The Desert Column The Discovery Press, 1932.
  • Gullett, H., Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. Vol V11, Sinai and Palestine. Angus and Robertson, 1923.
  • Hill Alec, CHAUVEL of The Light Horse, Australian Military History Publications, 1978
  • Jones Ian, The Australian Light Horse, Time-Life Books, (Australia), 1987
  • Mather, J., War Horses – Hoof Prints in Time, Bookbound Pub, 2012
  • Mather, J., Forgotten Heroes – The Australian Waler Horse, Bookbound Pub, 2012
  • Mitchell Elyne, LIGHT HORSE- The Story of Australia’s Mounted Troops, The McMillan Company of Australia 1978
  • Perry, R., Bill the Bastard - Allen and Unwin, 2012.
  • Starr, Joan, From The Saddlebags at War-Australian Light Horse Association Ltd, 2000

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