The return home of the Australian contingent from the Soudan

Place Africa: Sudan
Accession Number ART93410
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 49.7 x 29 cm
Object type Print
Physical description mass-produced woodcut on paper
Maker Unknown
The Graphic
Date made 24 October 1885
Conflict Sudan, 1885

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


This page from London magazine 'The Graphic' is decorated with two engravings, both depicting members of the NSW contingent to the Sudan. The engravings were copied from photographs taken in Sydney by William N Tuttle & Co. The upper engraving is a group portrait of the camel corps, some of who are seated casually on the ground, with the back row standing. When a camel corps was raised, fifty men volunteered immediately. On 6 May they rode on a reconnaissance to Takdul, 28 kilometres from Suakin, again hoping for an encounter with the Sudanese, but the only action that day involved two newspaper correspondents who had accompanied the patrol before leaving the cameleers to file their stories in Suakin. They soon found themselves surrounded by enemy forces, and one was wounded as they fled. The camel corps made only one more sortie on 15 May, to bury the bodies of men killed in fighting the previous March. The lower engraving is copied from a photo now held by the Australian War Memorial (A05526). Like the upper image, the person in the front is lying down casually. Those in the middle row are seated, and those in the back are standing. The men are at ease, and there is nothing of the stiff formality in the poses which was usual in photographic portraiture of the time. The men are shown with their Alexander Henry rifles, and are wearing the khaki uniforms that they had been issued with. The images have the following explanation of the illustrations on the reverse: THE SOUDAN CONTINGENT AT SYDNEY. The contingent furnished by New South Wales to the Soudan Expeditionary Force numbered some 800 men - all told. They were commended by Colonel Richardson, and served about two months in the Soudan - from the end of March to the end of May. On their return to Sydney they were enthusaistically feted [italicised] and the whole incident has greatly stimulated the volunteer movement in the colony, several new corps being formed, and amongst them a Lancer regiment and one of Highlanders. - Our illustrations are from photographs by Messrs. Turtle and Co., of Sydney, and are kindly forwarded by Mr. W.G. Hadril, who writes: 'One of the groups represents the camel corps of the New South Wales Contingent lately returned from the Soudan, with Lieutenant Sparrow, numbering about thirty. The smaller group depicts the staff and transport corps, numbering eight men. There is a grand dinner to be given to the Contingent at the Crystal Palace.'