Mahdist War, Battle of Kirbekan 1885 – a little more effort (Part 2)

 

IMG_7060I recommend that you read the first part from last week (link here, that contains a little bit of an intro) as this is a rather short update if you have not already and if you are interested in the context of this.

I learned this week that Major General Earle who died at the Battle in 1885 is standing outside George’s Hall in Liverpool (where he was born in 1833).  A very elegant statue that was unveiled in 1887 by Lord Wolsey, the Commander of the British Forces in Egypt.

800px-William_Earle_sculpture_Liverpool

Earle had started his career fighting in the Crimean War and fought gallantry at Alma and Sevastopol rising to the rank of Lieutenant.  He later served in Gibraltar, Canada and India. In 1880 he was granted his Major Generalship and was sent to Egypt in 1882.  Here he was the commander of the garrison at Alexandria.  In 1884 he was in command of a campaign (the British Nile Column) to support General Gordon in Khartoum (Sudan).  The city was under siege by Mahdist.  Earle and his soldiers did not arrive in time and Khartoum fell in the beginning of 1885.

 

On the 10th February 1885, Major Earle, and part of the British Nile Column stormed the hills at Kirbekan and routed Mahdist force.  Unfortunately Earle, as stated above,  was killed in the battle together with about 60 British soldiers, including Lieutenant Colonel Philip Eyre of the First South Staffordshire Regiment.

So, to hang on to Lt Col Phillip Eyre for a moment, this week I did the second large British unit at the Kirbekan Battle 1885.

The South Staffordshire Regiment

The regiment was sent to Egypt in 1882 as part of the invasion and in 1885 it travelled as part of the unsuccessful column to lift the Siege of Khartoum, but came to play an important part in the battle at Kirbekan.  Following Garrison duties it was later sent to fight in the Boer War.  I let you read more about the regiment and its further adventures during the Great War and World War 2 on Wikipedia (link here).

As I did last time I used the excellent Perry Painting Guide from their webpage (link here).  I made six bases (40 by 20 mm) with firing poses and six bases with Marching poses – as the British did a lot of marching and I fancy a long column of soldiers in the end.  Of course when I checked this out I realised that the South Staff Regiment and the Black Watch were ordered to wear red at the Kirbekan Battle – I painted mine with the grey/blue uniform last week – Oh well perhaps the Scots did not listen to the English commander, or I have to do another set of them in red!

14. South Staffordshire Regiment
This regiment and the Black Watch were ordered to wear red to storm the ridge at the battle of Kirbekan, 10th February 1885

From the Perry Painting Guide

Anyway, here is how the South Staffordshire gentlemen turned out (they are 6mm Baccus from the their colonial range, link here).

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/ Hope that was of some interest, next time I will do some Mahdists I think.

 

9 thoughts on “Mahdist War, Battle of Kirbekan 1885 – a little more effort (Part 2)

    1. Colin, I do not think any regiment carried their colours in oversea service/battle at this time. “When the KSLI [the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry] was ordered on overseas service in the middle of February 1885, its Colours were deposited with due ceremony in the Governor’s Palace in Malta”, taken from here http://shropshireregimentalmuseum.co.uk/regimental-history/shropshire-light-infantry/1st-battalion-ksli-in-the-eastern-sudan-1885-86/ The last time colours were worn in battle by a British unit was the 58th Northamptonshire Regiment at the Battle of Laings Nek in January 1881 (First Anglo-Boer War). Link here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Laing%27s_Nek “Laing’s Nek is memorable as the last occasion that a British regiment took its colours into action. The 58th were led up the hillside by Lieutenant Baillie carrying the Regimental Colour and Lieutenant Hill carrying the Queen’s Colour. Baillie was mortally wounded while Hill won the Victoria Cross bringing casualties down from the hillside. Hill passed the two colours to Sergeant Budstock for safe keeping; a necessary concession to the realities of late 19th Century combat. Four officers in succession were shot down carrying the colours of the 58th.”

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  1. Pingback: Kirbekan 1885 – (Mostly) Some Mahdists – Roll a One

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