Sending the contingent has been seen as the first important expression of colonial commitment to the imperial cause in the nineteenth century. In Australia, politicians were alive to their own colonies coming-of-age, and the conflict in the Sudan afforded an opportunity to demonstrate colonial maturity to an imperial audience across the globe. Despite other Australian colonies wanting to make a military contribution, only New South Wales actually deployed any troops. It did so because it had the largest and best organised defence force, and was led by a very opportunist politician.
However one looks at it, Britain’s experience in the Sudan in the 1880s comprised political indecision, expensive deployments and military defeats, followed by the withdrawal of Egyptian and imperial forces. British arms would not secure a victory there until 1898.
The deployment to the Sudan represents Australia’s first real military engagement aboard. It helped set the precedent for the Australian colonies’ role, attitudes and engagement in the second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.
8 May 2018Adelaide to host Chief of Army Land Forces Seminar - 2018 14 March 2018Army’s next armoured fighting vehicle announced 28 October 2017Army Delivers Final Component of Plan Beersheba 25 July 2017Chief of Army History Conference 19-20 Oct 24 July 2017CA interviewed about domestic violence in Army