The Cameron Highlanders taking a stockade, Atbara, 8 April 1898
Photolithograph after Stanley Berkeley, published 1898 (c).
In 1883, the Sudanese religious leader, Muhammad Ahmad (or the Mahdi), began a revolt against Anglo-Egyptian rule in Sudan. The following year, Major-General Charles Gordon, Governor-General of the Sudan, was sent to evacuate Egyptian forces from Khartoum. However, in January 1885, Gordon was murdered. The British Government was put under great pressure to avenge his death.
In 1896, Major-General Sir Herbert Kitchener, sirdar or commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army, led an Anglo-Egyptian expeditionary force along the Upper Nile. On 8 April 1898 Kitchener's force of about 12,000 men attacked the fortified camp of the Dervish army at Atbara and, after a fierce struggle, routed the enemy. Around 4,000 Dervishes were captured along with their commander, the Emir Mahmud.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection