Sudan (1885) (1 January 1890 to present) Back to Search

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About This Conflict

The involvement in Sudan had its origin in the early 1880s when the British-backed Egyptian government failed to crush an indigenous rebellion led by Muhammed Ahmed and his followers, the Mahdi. With the Egyptian defeat, Britain sent General Charles Gordon, a popular figure who, despite orders to support Egyptian withdrawal, decided to attempt to defeat the Mahdi. He was unsuccessful, being captured at Khartoum, and was later killed in January 1885. Canada offered support, followed by the colony of NSW. Other Australian colonies offered support but it was declined by the British governemnt. This was perhaps fortunate given the indifference and even anti-war sentiment that was expressed in relation to the conflict.

Nine Australians did not return from the conflict as a result of illnesses such as enteric fever and typhoid. This would foreshadow the significance of disease in creating Australian casualties in the Third Anglo-Boer War, and in WW1 at Gallipoli. 

For more information on the conflict see https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/atwar/sudan (www.awm.gov.au)

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