Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

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Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 25 Nov 2015 16:25

I am looking for eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman. Whether they be officers or enlisted men, I would be interested in any members may know about.

In addition, I am also interested in similar accounts for Atbara and Dongola.

I do already have the accounts by Gleichen, Slatin and Steevens.

Thanks in advance.

Mark
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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby johnpreece » 25 Nov 2015 21:30

Do war correspondents count?

Bennet Burleigh wrote of Atbara in 'Sirdar and Khalifa', and Omdurman in 'Khartoum Campaign 1898' ; then of course there is Churchill.

I have a small book; Omdurman Diaries by John Meredith published 1998. This contains extracts from Private Teigh and Lieutenant Cox both of the Lincolnshire Regt, Lt Meckeljohn of the Warwickshire and corporal Skinner medical staff corps. Interesting stuff though one always hates the idea of extracts.

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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 26 Nov 2015 17:22

Many thanks, John! Much appreciated.

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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 07 Dec 2015 12:16

I am still looking for more eyewitness accounts if anyone can suggest any?

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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby johnpreece » 07 Dec 2015 16:25

Mark,

I have a couple more:

From the Sudanese side there is a short though interesting 'worms eye' account of the Battle in
'The Memoirs of Babikr Bedri', OUP 1969

Also, ' Karari'. 'Ismat Hasan Zulfo Warne 1980.
uses a lot of eye witness narrative to form the Sudanese account. It is not always clear when he is directly quoting, but very useful.

Still with the war correspondents
Ernest E Bennett 'The Downfall of the Dervishes' 1899.
Rather a cold fish, who never wastes an opportunity to let you know he is an Oxford man, nevertheless a vivid account which does not shy away from the slaughter.

Other than those? I thought that it was just that I had not looked for first hand British accounts and that there would be hundreds. Indeed they may be tucked away in regt journals etc. Or even the Great War memoirs of Generals, but the silence does make me wonder.

Of course everyone may be preoccupied and using the internet for their Christmas shopping. I know I am.

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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 09 Dec 2015 12:17

Thanks, John! I now have a copy of Bennett's book. The Sudanese suggestions will be invaluable if I can hunt them down.

I am aware of a number of diaries of ordinary British soldiers exist that describe the campaign from their point of view, but they are in collections and not readily available. However, I will let others know if I can acquire any copies.

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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 09 Dec 2015 12:25

I now have copies of The Memoirs of Babikr Bedri and Karari.

Mark :)
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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Annapolis » 27 Dec 2015 21:11

Mark: There are also a number of contemporary accounts of the campaign by junior officers in the collection "Omdurman 1898: The Eye-Witnesses Speak" compiled by Peter Harington and Frederick A. Sharf. Greenhill Books (London, 1998). I believe it is available on Amazon. Annapolis
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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 28 Dec 2015 13:52

Annapolis wrote:Mark: There are also a number of contemporary accounts of the campaign by junior officers in the collection "Omdurman 1898: The Eye-Witnesses Speak" compiled by Peter Harington and Frederick A. Sharf. Greenhill Books (London, 1998). I believe it is available on Amazon. Annapolis


Thanks, Annapolis. I have now acquired a copy of this book and have previously been in touch with Peter Harrington at Brown University; I may try and pick his brains for further information.

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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Harold Raugh » 01 Jan 2016 12:11

Greetings:

Regarding eyewitness accounts of Omdurman: dozens of published and unpublished accounts of the Battle of Omdurman are listed in my British Military Operations in Egypt and the Sudan: A Selected Bibliography (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2008), ISBN-13: 978-0810859548. I would provide more details, but my books are in my household goods, currently being shipped on a slow-moving banana boat across the Pacific to Seoul, South Korea, where I am now.

You may also be interested in my piece "Death in the Desert: Peake's Artillery at Omdurman, 1898," Soldiers of the Queen 139 (December 2009) -- and this includes encouragement for all VWF members to join the Victorian Military Society and receive -- and consider contributing articles and book reviews to -- the outstanding quarterly issues of Soldiers of the Queen.

Happy New Year!
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Re: Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Omdurman

Postby Mark » 01 Jan 2016 14:48

Thanks, Harold!

I echo your words on the VMS; I am also a member.

Mark
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