The Last Charge – Centenary Exhibition of the Charge at El Mughar
31 October 2017 – 6 January 2018
The charge of the 6th Mounted Brigade at El Mughar in Palestine on 13 November 1917 can claim to be the last great British cavalry charge, although there were later charges in Syria in 1918 by an Indian regiment and by the Australian Light Horse.
Significantly, James Prinsep Beadle was commissioned to paint the charge at El Mughar as the cavalry contribution to a representative collection of Great War studies for the United Services Club in Pall Mall. Never previously exhibited outside of the building, which now houses the Institute of Directors, Beadle’s painting depicts ‘B’ Squadron of the 1/1st Royal Bucks Hussars leading the charge against the Ottoman Turkish defenders. The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel the Hon. Fred Cripps, later Lord Parmoor.
The charge, which also featured the 1/1st Dorset Yeomanry with the 1/1st Berkshire Yeomanry in support, was described by General Sir George Barrow as ‘a complete answer to the critics of the mounted arm’.
This exhibition brings together Beadle’s painting, Thomas Cantrell Dugdale’s painting of the same charge, and other artefacts and images, to commemorate the service of men from Buckinghamshire in Palestine. It is one of the forgotten campaigns of the First World War, yet one that left a profound legacy in terms of the shaping of the modern Middle East. The action at El Mughar occurred eleven days after Lord Rothschild, a former officer in the Royal Bucks Hussars, received the letter known to history as the ‘Balfour Declaration’, promising a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Four days after El Mughar, Lord Rothschild’s cousin, Major Evelyn de Rothschild of the 1/1st Royal Bucks Hussars, died of the wounds he had received in the charge.
Entry to the exhibition – By Donation.