Chauvel of the Light Horse AIF WW1 Beersheba
  • Chauvel of the Light Horse AIF WW1 Beersheba

Chauvel of the Light Horse AIF WW1 Beersheba


Chauvel of the Light Horse : The biography of General Sir Harry Chauvel , K.C.B., G.C.M.G., ' by A J Hill . 

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Chauvel of the Light Horse : The biography of General Sir Harry Chauvel , K.C.B., G.C.M.G., ' by A J Hill .

Harry Chauvel commanded the Light Horse Division in WW1 and is considered one of Australia’s greatest wartime leaders. He had no misgivings about his troops; they had sheer quality, leadership and experience; many had been at Gallipoli. These men of the Light Horse were without peer. Chauvel was a military genius who devised the attack of Beersheba in October 1917.  During the Beersheba Charge it was Chauvel who gave the  famous command, " Put Grant straight at it ! "
High text detail World War One exploits in Middle East . In 1918, the Australian Light Horse were in a race (maybe wrong word) against Lawrence of Arabia to be first to take Damascus. Has some very nice print plates depicting the Battles, well documented maps.

History Chauvel and the Light Horse

Harry Chauvel was born in Tabulam, New South Wales, on 16 April 1865. He began his education at Sydney Grammar School before moving to Toowoomba in Queensland and attending Toowoomba Grammar. Chauvel's father was a major in the militia and had raised his own unit, the Upper Clarence Light Horse, into which Harry was commissioned at the age of 21. By the time of the Boer War, Chauvel was a captain in the Queensland permanent forces. He commanded A Squadron of the Queensland Mounted Infantry in South Africa and returned to Australia to take command of the 7th Commonwealth Light Horse; the war ended before they saw action.


Chauvel then served as Chief of Staff with the Northern Rivers District until 1911. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1909 and in July 1914, as a full colonel, he became Australia's representative on the Imperial General Staff in London. Chauvel served on Gallipoli as commander of the 1st Light Horse Brigade. Arriving on 12 May, he took command of a sector that included Quinn's Post, Courtney's Post, and Steele's Post, each the scene of heavy fighting. Illness forced his evacuation and he spent June and July in hospital, returning to take command of the New Zealand and Australian Division in September 1915. In November he was given command of the 1st Australian Division and was promoted to major general.

Given his choice of commands in Egypt after the evacuation, Chauvel took charge of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division; in June 1916, he became the General Officer Commanding, AIF in Egypt. Chauvel won the first decisive British victory of the war when he defeated the Turks at Romani, stopping their second attempt to reach the Suez.

In August 1917 Chauvel became the first Australian to permanently command a corps: the Desert Mounted Corps, comprising British, Australian, and New Zealand units. His appointment followed two failed attempts to take Gaza. The third attempt involved a flanking manoeuvre necessitating the capture of Beersheba, duly achieved through the famous mounted charge by the 4th Light Horse Brigade. Success there opened the way for the eventual advance through Palestine that ended with the Turkish surrender in October 1918.


Chauvel has been described as a commander that understood the capabilities of his mounted troops; used them wisely, taking calculated risks and withdrawing when necessary; and kept losses to a minimum. Chauvel returned to Australia in late 1919 and was appointed Inspector General, the Army's most senior post; he retained that position until 1930. Meanwhile, he had been promoted to lieutenant general and appointed Chief of Staff. In November 1929 he was promoted to general, becoming the first Australian to reach that rank.

He retired from the Army in April 1930. During the Second World War, Chauvel took up the post of Inspector General of the Volunteer Defence Corps; he held this post until his death on 4 March 1945.

Data sheet

Book Condition:
Total Pages:
265 pages illustrations maps indexed
Publication Date:
2018 reprint of 1st edition 1978
Dimensions in mm :
175 x 255 x 25
Weight in grams:
Cover Type:
Soft Cover

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