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Press

An image of a newspaper article.
An image of a newspaper article.

Art Imitates Olley's Life

Publisher

Newcastle Herald

By

Jo Cooper

Date 

10 September 2022

About

A brief explanation of the content.

Deirdre Bean's Sword

Publisher

The Gallipoli Gazette

By

Patrick O’Neill

Date

Winter 2023

About

Read the article below and here.

You may recall that the 2022 Gallipoli Art Prize was won by Deirdre Bean with her painting of a 1908 – Pattern British Cavalry sword.

 

It might surprise you to know that it was a weapon like this that struck the first blow by the British against the Germans, in the First World War.

 

It was 22nd of August 1914 near Mons, Belgium, and the war had only been going for about 4 weeks. Captain Beck Hornby was leading a squadron of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards when he came across a German cavalry patrol. He charged the enemy and in the ensuing skirmish, became the first British soldier to kill a German soldier in the 1914-1918 war.  

 

And he killed him with his sword.  A 1908-Pattern cavalry sword!

 

This sword was developed at the beginning of the last century in an attempt to make a more effective cavalry weapon. The original cavalry sword had been a sabre with a curved blade. While seeing a regiment of dragoons, sabres drawn, charging towards you, it may have seemed a fearsome weapon. But in the cavalry actions of the 19th century, it actually did remarkably little damage.

 

During the Crimean and Boer wars, the British cavalry found that a thrusting weapon was far more effective than a slashing weapon; hence the development of the 1908-Pattern sword – Long. Straight and narrow. But with a very sharp tip.

 

While WW1 is better remembered as war of devastating artillery barrages and mass-killing machine-guns, it didn’t start out that way. In the first few months, with memories of the Franco-Prussian war still fresh in military minds, the Germans marched into battle in close order, with banners flying and drums beating. While the French infantry advanced wearing bright red trousers and their Cuirassiers rode into battle with polished breastplates, lances and sabres.

 

My grandfather Captain Arthur O’Neill of the 2nd Life Guards, was killed in the first Battle of Ypres. According to reports he was last seen alive charging the enemy with a pistol in one hand, a sword in the other (probably a 1908-pattern). Sadly we shall never know. Both he and his sword were recorded: ‘missing in action’.

 

Soon the industrial age guns turned the conflict into the static trench warfare we have all read about, and swords were largely banished to the parade ground.

 

The tragedy for the 1908-Pattern sword was that it arrived too late to have a chance to prove itself. But it certainly inspired Deidre Bean to create a superb art-work!

An image of Deirdre Bean in front of the winning artwork.

Publisher

Newcastle Herald

By

Phoebe Loomes and Ethan Hamilton

Date

April 2022

About

AN AMBITION to "relove" items of history has seen Newcastle's Deirdre Bean take home this year's Gallipoli Art Prize.

Photo credit

History re-loved: Winner of the 2022 Gallipoli Art Prize, Deirdre Bean, with her work 'Along the ride to Damascus'. Picture: AAP

A picture of a artwork.

Publisher

Sydney Morning Herald

By

Nick Galvin

Date

April 2017

About

Deirdre Bean's mangrove illustrations reflect a lifelong passion.

A picture of the artist and her work.

Publisher

St George and Sutherland Leader

By

Kate Carr

Date

April 2012

About

MANGROVES are the latest obsession of botanic artist Deirdre Bean.

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