Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

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Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby tasker224 » 26 Jun 2012 19:33

According to wikipedia (I know what you're thinking already, but please don't shoot the messenger!):

"The Battle of Abu Klea took place between the dates of 16 and 18 January 1885."

I have seen casualties KIA, apparently on the 16th January 1885.
One, Sgt Wilford of the 2nd Essex, in Webb's Abu Klea Roll itself - I am assuming he got this off the regimental records - could this be mistaken?
The other, Pte Purton of the 19th Hussars, whose campaign medal is currently for sale on the Liverpool medals website. I have asked Liverpool medals why they claim he was KIA on the 16th but have not had a coherent reply.

My question is, were there any confirmed, known casualties on the 16th January in the early stages of "the battle", or are these 16th January casualties unreliable, or mistaken.

The Times newspaper listed all the casualties of the 1882 - 1885 campaign and Stewart's own despatch printed in the London Gazzette listed the casualties incurred at Abu Klea in Januuary 1885.
Both these publications list both Wilford and Purton as being KIA on the 17thy January, 1885
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby crimea1854 » 27 Jun 2012 11:48

I would be very careful about this medal if you are interested in purchasing it. It was sold by DNW on 5 April 2006, at which time it had three clasps; El-Teb-Tamaai, Nile and Abu Klea, with a note that the first clasp was unconfirmed. However, he is on the roll, and this is his full entitlement.

I now see the medal is for sale - not with Liverpool - and there are now only two clasps.

Martin
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby tasker224 » 28 Jun 2012 19:07

Hi Martin, thanks very much for that.
I am not interested in the Purton medal currently for sale, but whether there were casualties or not on the 16th January, 1885.
Cheers, T
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby Mark A. Reid » 29 Jun 2012 00:19

Hello Tasker;

The Official History, Part II, pp. 15-16 notes that " ... the enemy's sharpshooters ... kept up throughout the night a brisk but comparatively harmless fire. " Count Gleichen recorded that " Alhough the dropping fire went on all night, very few bullets found their billet in the zereiba, and I think only two men altogether, a Hussar and a camel-driver, were wounded. "

Further research required I would suggest!

Cheers,

Mark
Last edited by Mark A. Reid on 29 Jun 2012 19:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby tasker224 » 29 Jun 2012 16:00

Thanks Mark. I have read a little about the night of the 16th and of "few bullets" finding their mark etc, but I have not read Gleichen's account.
The words "I think only two men altogether, a Hussar and a camel-driver, we're wounded " are the clearest indication I have yet read that no men were KIA on the night of the 16th.
As you say, further research needed!
Perhaps when Mike Snook's book finally hits the shelves, all will be revealed.
Thanks again!
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby Mark A. Reid » 29 Jun 2012 19:51

Hello again;

Glad to have been of some help. In fact,Mike Snook has already covered the battle in his book " Go Strong Into The Desert, " on pp. 94-96. He writes that three casualties were incurred overnight, two of them native drivers. It might be worthwhile to contact the regimental museum of the " descendants " of the 19th Hussars and see what they might have in their archives.

Good Luck,

Mark
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby tasker224 » 30 Jun 2012 09:49

Thanks Mike. Yes, "casualties" could mean anything from KIA to a cut finger.
MS's new book will superscede GSITD, so stilll looking 4wd to that!
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Re: Abu Klea casualties of 16/1/1885

Postby tasker224 » 27 Dec 2014 14:37

I am slowly making my way into Mike Snook's Beyon The Reach Of Empire after having bought it for the missus to give to me for Xmas. A big read it is going to be too, so hopefully some of my own Qs will be answered along the way. I am wondering if the wounded camel driver mentioned above will turn out to be Wilford of the 2nd Essex, because having read the back pages of BTROE first (an od habit) MS seems to have placed the 2nd Essex detachment of 20 odd men to "transport" duties in the Abu Klea order of battle.
Will find out in due course!
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