Researching Australian military service: Sudan, 1885

Overview of the conflict

Australian military history overview: Sudan (NSW Contingent), March–June 1885

Nominal rolls

  • Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls contains the personal particulars, unit, and fate of each person who served in Sudan, 1885. Some records may contain enlistment, embarkation, and other details.
  • Squad book for the use of battery and company officers and non-commissioned officers of the military forces of New South Wales ("A" Company Infantry) Official record AWM2 1D. This book provides a list of "A" Company members arranged according to rank and name, containing squad, date of joining, age, height, letter and number of arms and accoutrements, trade or profession, and last known residence. It includes a separate roll for Number One Squad arranged alphabetically, giving regimental number, rank, name and letter and number of arms.

Service records

Sudan Contingent attestation papers. NSW Infantry "B" and "C" Companies Official record AWM2 2. This file is incomplete and includes papers for less than half the contingent. Individual names are not listed on RecordSearch database.

Those who died while serving

No Australian soldiers were killed in action. The nine who died of sickness or accident are listed on the Memorial's Roll of Honour.

Where they served

For extensive information, maps, uniforms, weapons, artillery, medal roll, and an annotated bibliography, see Peter Stanley (ed), But little glory: the New South Wales contingent to the Sudan, 1885 (Canberra: Military Historical Society of Australia, 1985).

Detailed history, battle honours list, chronology, maps, nominal roll, and establishment and enlistment information is included in Ralph Sutton, Soldiers of the Queen: war in the Soudan (Sydney: New South Wales Military Historical Society and the Royal New South Wales Regiment, 1985).


The campaign medals to which the servicemen were entitled is listed in Frank Hutchinson and Francis Meyers, Australian contingent: a history of the patriotic movement in New South Wales and an account of the despatch of troops to the assistance of the Imperial forces in the Soudan (Sydney: Government Printer, 1885).

Where to look for photographs

  • Collections Search provides access to digitised images of photographs held by the Memorial.
  • Trove can search photographs and other images held by a range of major Australian libraries, archives and other cultural institutions         

Further sources

  • Collections Search search to identify items from the private records collection such as diaries, letters, papers of members of the contingent and several theses written about this conflict.
  • Rick Grebert (compiler), New South Wales Sudan contingent 1885: some biographical and personal details [with statistics] (Caringbah, NSW: New South Wales Military Historical Society, 1998)
  • State Records New South Wales