Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885
Battle of Abu Klea, 17 January 1885. Oil on canvas signed and dated lower left: W B Wollen 1896, by William Barns Wollen (1857-1936), 1896. In a race against time to relieve General Gordon, besieged at Khartoum, a relief column under General Sir Garnet Wolseley set out from Cairo in October 1884. Realising that his infantry, travelling in boats up the Nile, might not reach Khartoum in time to save Gordon, Wolseley detached a Desert Column to travel overland by a faster but more dangerous route. On 17 Jan 1885 this Column, commanded by General Herbert Stewart, was attacked by the Mahdists at Abu Klea. The resulting battle was later described by Winston Churchill as the most savage and bloody action ever fought in the Soudan by British troops'. The British square broke and was closed only after desperate hand-to-hand fighting. The British suffered 168 casualties, the Mahdists about 1100. The Column finally reached Khartoum on 28 January, two days after the town had fallen. Date: 1885
© The National Army Museum / Mary Evans Picture Library
Ismail Pasha - Egypt
Isma'il Pasha, known as Ismail the Magnificent (1830 - 1895), was Wali and subsequently Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 until he was removed at the behest of the British in 1879. While in power he greatly modernized Egypt and Sudan, but also put the country heavily in debt. His philosophy can be glimpsed in a statement he made in 1879: "My country is no longer in Africa; we are now part of Europe. It is therefore natural for us to abandon our former ways and to adopt a new system adapted to our social conditions."
© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection
Lava lizard, Tropidurus torquatus, desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, stellion, Stellagama stellio, Sudan plated lizard, Gerrhosaurus major, giant ameiva, Ameiva ameiva, Mexican beaded lizard, Heloderma horridum, and Amboina sailfin lizard, Hydrosaurus amboinensis. Lithograph from Lorenz Oken's Universal Natural History, Allgemeine Naturgeschichte fur alle Stande, Stuttgart, 1841. Date:
© Florilegius/Mary Evans