Saturday, 30 October 2010

hill camel corps

The British Camel Corps wore grey tunics, cord breeches and helmets stained brown. The infantry of the Sussex Regiment wore khaki tunics. The British troops were all armed with Martini-Henry single shot rifles and 22 inch bayonets, both infantry and cavalry, and mounted on camels, except the 19th Hussars which carried carbines and swords and was mounted on horses. The Mahdist Sudanese carried spears and swords and the Remington single shot rifles they had captured from the Egyptians.In 1884 Mohammed Ahmed, an apprentice boat builder, declared himself to be the Mahdi or Saviour of the people of Sudan and began a revolt against the Khedive of Egypt, the ruler of Sudan, and his Egyptian garrisons across the country. The revolt was a Jihad, or Muslim Holy War. The Khedive resolved to evacuate his garrisons from Sudan and leave it to the Mahdi. The problem was in finding someone who could carry out this difficult operation.for the Illustrated London News.It was apparent to Wolseley that to reach Khartoum in time he needed a flying column. Thus was formed the Camel Corps. The British public imagination had been fired by the need to rescue the extraordinary Charles Gordon. Instead of forming the Camel Corps from the line infantry regiments, in the expectation that the corps would simply be mounted infantry, the Camel Corps took many of its officers and men from the socially elite regiments of the British Army. Two of the Camel Corps’ regiments were formed from the cavalry: the Heavy Regiment from the Household Cavalry, the Dragoon Guards, the Dragoons and Lancers: the Light Regiment from the Hussars. The Guards regiment of the camel corps was formed from the Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards (with the Royal Marine Light Infantry) and the Mounted Infantry regiment from line infantry regiments.

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