Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Forgotten war?

by
September 2009, no. 314

Beersheba: A journey through Australia’s forgotten war by Paul Daley

Melbourne University Press $39.99 pb, 368 pp, 9780522855999

Forgotten war?

by
September 2009, no. 314

Much Australian writing about military subjects reminds me of the recent film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which started in adulthood and rapidly progressed into adolescence. From the evidence of this work, it is showing no signs of growing up. This book purports to have discovered an event about which Australians have remained deeply ignorant for the last ninety years: the charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba in the Middle Eastern war against the Ottoman Empire, in 1917. Only someone long exiled on a desert island could call this event ‘forgotten’. We have had a famous film about it (Forty Thousand Horsemen, 1940), a good book about the Light Horse by Alec Hill (1978), extensive work on the subject by Ian Jones, and a plethora of books by British historians about the Middle Eastern war that include this incident. The author, Paul Daley, must be one of the few Australians who had not heard of it. Is this reason enough to write a book about it? Possibly – but not this book.

Robin Prior review 'Beersheba: A journey through Australia’s forgotten war' by Paul Daley

Beersheba: A journey through Australia’s forgotten war

by Paul Daley

Melbourne University Press $39.99 pb, 368 pp, 9780522855999

From the New Issue

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.