Amongst the collections at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is ‘The Charge at Huj’, a print of the renowned painting by Lady Elizabeth Butler. The charge occurred on the 8th November 1917, explaining why this blog is issued today. However, why is this depiction of events in Palestine included in the Trust collection?
The print was presented to the Trust in 2006 by Derrick Smart, in recognition of three years' happy association with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's collections. Mr Smart is a military historian and proud Stratfordian and his choice of donation reflects this, as the ‘Charge at Huj’ was the last classic cavalry charge undertaken by the British Army – and it was undertaken by members of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, together with their colleagues from the Worcestershire Yeomanry. Huj formed part of the Sinai & Palestine Campaign in the First World War, with the Yeomanry charging against Turkish, German and Austrian artillery, to relieve pressure on British infantry.
The Trust is honoured to have this print and we display it both to commemorate the centenary of a historic action and in recognition of the sacrifice made by so many during conflict over the years – including (in the Warwickshire context), Passchendaele in 1917 (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) and El Alamein (Operation Supercharge) in 1942 (Warwickshire Yeomanry).
Details about the Charge at Huj are available at the Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum.