|An unmounted albumen print showing a mass grave containing the bodies of some of the British soldiers killed at the battle of Tel el-Kebir. The inscription on the wooden cross in the foreground reads: ‘In memory of Major Colville and Lieut. Somerville, also Non. Com. Officers and Men [of the] 74th High[land Brigade], killed 13th Sep. 1882.’
Following the rebellion of discontended Egyptian officers in 1882, Great Britain acted to protect its financial interests in the area, in particular the Suez Canal. Hostilities commenced with the bombardment of Alexandria on 11 July. The deciding engagement took place on 13 September at Tel el-Kebir, in the desert east of Kassassin, when 18,500 British and Indian troops under the command of Major-General Garnet Wolseley defeated Ahmed Urabi’s force of 15,000 Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers. Khedive Tawfiq was formally reinstated 12 days later. The guarantees and concessions he subsequently made facilitated the British occupation of Egypt, which was to last until 1956. Urabi was sentenced to death, but was later exiled to Ceylon.
condition: The print shows some small, irregular creases in the area of the sky and two long creases running diagonally across the image. In addition, there is a small tear in the print’s
upper edge and its upper right-hand corner is missing.
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