. . . . . At 4.30 the two regiments moved off at the trot, deploying at once until there was a space of five yards between the horsemen. Surprise and speed were their one chance, and almost at once the pace was quickened to a gallop. As the force topped the crest, Grant with McKenzie, his brigade-major, rode in the lead, and Bourchier and Cameron were at the head of their regiments; but when once direction was given to the movement, the leading squadrons of each regiment pressed forward, and Grant fell back into the reserve line, from which he could control subsequent developments. Cameron and Bourchier were never far behind the vanguard. The leading squadron of the 4th on the right was under Major J. Lawson a powerful young Yorkshireman, who had emigrated to Victoria some years before the war; the vanguard of the 12th was entrusted to Major E. M. Hyman, a farmer from New South Wales. Regimental headquarters and the machine-guns rode with the reserve squadron. The 11th Regiment followed at the trot, and then came FitzGerald’s 5th Mounted Brigade, while away on the left the 7th Mounted Brigade advanced briskly along the Khalasa road. If, therefore, the heroic galloping vanguard was a slender striking force, it had a substantial following in close support.The Turks were quick to observe the movement, and opened fire with shrapnel on the 4th and 12th Regiments immediately they deployed. But the range was long, the target scattered and fleeting, and the casualties trifling. After going nearly two miles, hot machine-gun fire was directed against the leading squadrons from the direction of Hill 1180 on the left. This fire, coming from an effective range, might have proved destructive; but the vigilant officers of the Essex Battery detected the machine-guns as soon as they began to shoot, got the range at once, and were lucky enough to put them out of action with the first few shells.Lawson and Hyman were now within range of the Turkish riflemen directly in their track, and these, after an erratic opening, settled down to sustained rapid fire. Many horses in the leading line were hit and dropped, but there was no check to the charge. The enemy fire served only to speed the gallop. These Australian countrymen had never in all their riding at home ridden a race like this; and all ranks, from the heroic ground scouts galloping in front of the squadron leaders, to the men in the third line, drove in their spurs and charged on Beersheba. Grant, when he gave his order, had no clear knowledge of what was ahead, and neither Lawson nor Hynam yet knew. But all rode for victory and for Australia.The fire from the trenches came chiefly from Lawson’s front, and the bold Yorkshireman led his squadron straight at it. As they came within half-a-mile of the earthworks, which were now clearly in view, the casualties among the horsemen almost entirely ceased, despite an increase in the firing. Over the last few hundred yards Lawson’s men galloped untouched; the Turks. surprised and bewildered at the sheer audacity of the charge, had failed to change the sights on their rifles, and their fire was passing harmlessly overhead.The first trench, a shallow, unfinished one, held by only a few riflemen, was taken by the rushing horsemen in their stride. Close behind them was the main line, a trench in places ten feet deep and four feet wide, thickly lined by Turks. As Lawson’s men galloped at this obstacle several horses and men were shot, but the excited line pressed on, jumped the trench and, reining up amidst a nest of tents and dugouts, dismounted. Lawson’s three leading troops were then joined by a troop from the 12th Regiment; as the horses were led at the gallop to cover, the Australians leaped into the main trench which they had just crossed and went to work with the bayonet, at the same time clearing up the enemy in the dugouts.Lieutenant F. J. Burtons was killed as his horse was jumping the trenches, and Lieutenant B. P. G. Meredith fell immediately after dismounting. But the Turks were now so demoralised that they offered only a feeble resistance to the bayonet, and any shooting on their part was wild and comparatively harmless. After between thirty and forty had been killed with the steel, the rest threw down their rifles and begged for pity. One of the troopers had galloped on to a reserve trench further ahead. The Turks shot his horse as he jumped, and the animal fell into the trench. When the dazed Australian found his feet he was surrounded by five Turks with their hands up. The enemy had been beaten rather by the sheer recklessness of the charge than by the very limited fighting powers of this handful of Australians. Captain A. D. Reid, who was leading the squadron of the 4th which followed Lawson, dismounted one of his troops to deal with the enemy in the shallow advanced trench, and then pressed on to Lawson’s assistance. In a few minutes the fight there was over. . . . . .