Journal Volume 1 1992

Colonel Burnaby (continued/5)

A small detachment having been left with the wounded, the British forces pressed on, and four days later they encountered the Arabs again at Abu Kru or Gubat near Metammeh, where Sir Herbert Stewart received a wound which a few days later proved fatal; and the chief command fell to Colonel Sir Charles Wilson. Among others who fell at Gubat were Mr. Cameron, the correspondent of The Standard and Mr. St. Leger Herbert, correspondent of The Morning Post, who are said to have been killed by the same bullet. They were borne to their grave by Mr. Burleigh, of the Daily Telegraph, Mr. F. Vilfiers, of the Graphic, Mr. Melton Prior, Of the Illustrated London News, Mr. H.H.S. Pearse, of the Daily News, Mr. Charles Williams, of the Daily Chronicle, and other sympathisers.

An attempt was made by Sir Charles Wilson to reach Khartoum by steamer, but on receiving the sad intelligence that Khartoum had fallen into the hands of the Mahdi, and that Gordon was dead, he relinquished the attempt, and returned with his wearied and ragged soldiers to the base at Korti, where the glowing praise which they heard from the lips of Lord Wolseley more than recompensed them for their sufferings. ‘You have certainly done your best,’ he said, ‘and though you cannot get into Khartoum this year, you will next.’

As everyone knows, however, it took longer than Wolseley anticipated. It was not until December 1899, that British troops, under Kitchener, after defeating the Mahdi's successor, at the battle of Omdurman, finally reached Khartoum, and put a period to the wasteful and inhuman rule of Khalifa and Dervish.

Source: The Life of Colonel Fred Burnaby. Thomas Wright London 1908.


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