EGYPT, 1882 and 1884

The 3rd Battalion, under Colonel Ashburnham, had been moved from South Africa to Malta, when the outbreak of hostilities in Egypt caused it to be dispatched to Cyprus and Alexandria.

The ownership of the Suez Canal Company gave us a close interest in Egyptian affairs. The finances of the Khedive had gone from bad to worse; and Captain Baring (later Lord Cromer) was sent out to organize his affairs. In 1881 an insurrection under Arabi Bey broke out, causing widespread disorder and he murder of Egyptian residents, and the British Government decided to take military action.

Bombardment of Alexandria, 17th July. Alexandria was bombarded by the Fleet and then on 18th July the 3rd Battalion landed while the city was in flames, forming part of the advance force under Major-General Sir Archibald Allison. A portion of the Battalion took part with the Mounted Infantry, on 22nd July, in the engagement at Mallana Junction, eight miles from Alexandria, and again in the reconnaissance in force on 5th August near Ramleh.  

Riflemen F. Corbett gained the Victoria Cross

Kassassin, 9th September. On 18th August, upon the arrival or the Commander- in-Chief, Sir Garnet Wolseley, the 3rd Battalion embarked for Ismailia, and took part in the actions of Tel-el-Mahuta on the 25th and Kassassin on 9th September, when the enemy, about 13,000 strong, was completely defeated.

Tel-el-Kebir, 13th September, 1882. A massive fortification known as Tel-el-Kebir was 60 miles east of Cairo. The Battalion, temporarily commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel W.L.K. Ogilvy (afterwards Colonel and C.B.) formed part of the Brigade under Colonel Ashburnham in the night march of 12th/13th September and the assault on the lines of Tel-el-Kebir at daybreak. The Brigade closed up on the left of the Highland Brigade as day began to dawn. The Battalion in two lines pressed eagerly forward with its accustomed dash, and entered the Egyptian works at about the centre position. Major Cramer, Second-in-Command, was wounded, and had his horse shot under him. The enemy gave way on all sides, and were broken and dispersed in headlong flight. Two days later Cairo was captured and the war was ended, upon which the Battalion formed part of the army of occupation.


The history of the 3rd battalion at this period would not be complete without reference to the introduction of Mounted Infantry into the British Army. It may be fairly said that the creation of Mounted Infantry, its training and tactics were largely the work of the officers and riflemen of the 60th, and in a very special degree of the 3rd Battalion.

The value of this arm was established by the success of the relatively small force of Mounted Infantry in Egypt in 1882. This detachment, raised and organized by Captain Edward Hutton, 60th, who had raised and commanded Mounted Infantry in South Africa during the previous year, included many officers and men of the 3rd Battalion who had served in the Boer War. The Mounted Infantry took part in every engagement in the war, from the landing at Alexandria in July until the capture, by a coup de main, of the citadel of Cairo at midnight of the 14th/15th September


  Khedive Mohammad Tawfik
(son of Ismail Pasha)

Governed Egypt from June 26, 1879 to January 7, 1892.

He was born in 1852 and succeeded his father Ismail as Khedive to Egypt in 1879 before the bilateral inspection of Britain and France on Egypt’s financial situation.
During his reign, the Orabi revolution (the first revolution in modern Egypt led by Ahmed Orabi) erupted in February 1881, and then the incidence of  Abdeen Palace in September 1881.
In 1882, Britain occupied Egypt and Egypt occupied Sudan in 1884/5.  Tawfik died in 1892.

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