Glad to read that you too have an interest in the the Sudan Campaigns!
As far as uniforms are concerned I too find this transitional period quite fascinating!
There is not a 100% guaranteed safe reply to your a) and b) questions!
Officers no doubt has several options as far as their choices of campaign uniforms: these would include : tailor made uniforms (made in the UK and/or Egypt), issue officers uniforms and , occasionally, modified/unmodifed other ranks uniforms. Civilian items such as privately purchased corduroy breeches or trousers were also relatively common .
Each individual campaign outfit t was often the varied and combined result of Army Regulations , regimental "fashion" , local circumstamces and personal choices.
A minimum standard of uniformity at regimental level was probably desirable, but this was not as strict as may be expected.
For example it is a known fact that in the 1885 Eastern Sudan campaign the Berkshire Regiment was only partly resupplied with the new Sand Khaki suits. So the regiment had both Grey and Sand Khaki uniforms at the same time!
One would imagine that the clothing would be redidtributed at Company level to guarantee a minimum of uniformity and that officers should have tried to conform - but of cousre there is no gurarentee that they all did!
In addition in the Zulu War (ie only five/six years before the Sudan campaigns) some officers of infantry regiments having served in the field for several cosecutive years (such as th 24th foot) must have been quite understandably short of decent looking uniforms and it is known that a few officers resorted to wearing other ranks tunics - generally with no rank badges at all!.
At the same time surviving "proper" Officers Campaign uniforms (ie. the so called India Pattern Tunic) and Patrol jackets were also to be seen worn in the field "side by side" by officers of the same regiments.
It is always very difficult to generalise and, whenever possible, conclusions and assumptions should be based on photographs.
Contemporary accounts also occasionally provide useful written information. For example , from Galloway's "The Battle of Tofrek" , we learn that rank and file in the Berkshire Regt.were equipped with Dust Veils and Goggles.
Unfortunately, the habit of several 19th century writers of describing indifferently both the Sand version and the Grey version of khaki uniforms simply as "Khaki" admittedly does not help!
I believe the well known group photo of 2nd Life Guards photo I am herewith attaching again was taken after the return of the regiment from the Sudan. The uniforms look in very good condition, so if the photo was actually taken after the return to England , they must be the new sand Khaki. Again ,there are minor differences in officer uniforms' details: 2 officers with pockets having straight flaps, and two other officers with no pockets at all!
As far as the Grenadier Guards are concerned , however, it is known theat they were outfitted in the new sand khaki for the 1885 Eastern Sudan campaign. The photo of the Suakin Guards Officers group I posted yesterday provides both sound basic information about the GG Officers' general appearance , as well as highlighting interesting differences in minor individual details , such as presence/absence and different styles of pockets - obviously the result of personal choices, purchases from different outfitters etc.
Resupply from the UK or Egypt, as you mention, was certainly possible. However I believe that the 1885 Eastern Sudan campaign
was perhaps too short for that.
Back to the "Gubat" photo, personally I would give some weight to the presence of a "Riverine Shield" in order to assess location.
True, we can not rule out the possibility of a Riverine shield ending up in the Suakin area for whatever reasons. However the most natural assumption for a riverine shield's location would seem to me to be the River Nile!
Attached is a photo of a different Dinka/Riverine shield. As you can see, the oval pattern (as opposed to the round fuzzy wuzzy style - pic also attached) is quite evident. In addition some warriors at Abu Klea and Abu Kru were certainly equipped with this style of riverine shield.
Finally, if you are interested in going deeper with regard to uniforms of these period, both of Mike Snook's Sudan books will provide most of the information you would need on the 1884-1885 Sudan campaigns.
In addition, Mark Reid's book "The Army of the Khedive" will give you plenty of information about the Egyptian army during The Sudan Campaigns era.
- Fuzzy Wuzzy Red.JPG (60 KiB) Viewed 1060 times
- 2ndlifeguardssudan1.jpg (82.87 KiB) Viewed 1060 times
- DinkaShield07.jpg (46.7 KiB) Viewed 1060 times
"What a pity you are not an Englishman!".
Gordon's remark to his Italian lieutenant, Romolo Gessi