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Special illustrated edition of The Echo commemorating the Sudan War

Date: 3 March 1885
Overall: 494 x 337 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection donated through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program by the Williams family, descendants of Beatrice Kerr
Object Name: Newspaper clipping
Object No: ANMS1029[001]

User Terms

    A 'Special Illustrated Number of The Echo, To Commemorate the Departure of the New South Wales Troops For the Soudan'. No 6363, vol 11, Tuesday March 3 1885.
    The front page features a black and white illustration of The Hon William Bede Dalley, Attorney-General and Acting Colonial Secretary, New South Wales.
    SignificanceThe sending of troops to the Sudan in 1885 was a significant act in Australian military and political history. Despite the short duration of their involvement, these troops were the first Australian contingent to fight for Australia in an imperial war.
    HistoryWhen news of the death of British General Charles Gordon in Sudan reached Australia in February 1885, a proposal was put forward by the New South Wales government and armed forces to send a contingent to Sudan to assist the Egyptian and British troops there. Whilst the contingent would be under British command, it was a highly significant gesture New South Wales as it would be the first time Australian paid and serving troops would fight in an imperial war.

    The contingent, an infantry battalion of 522 men and 24 officers and an artillery battery of 212 men, was ready to sail on 3 March 1885. The coverage of the newspapers of the time was extensive and much of the language used was highly emotive and used to stir up the patriotism of the day. A public holiday was declared and despite a large number of detractors, it was said the mood was the "most festive occasion in the colony's history".

    This special edition of The Echo newspaper devotes the entire first page to extolling the virtues of sending the New South Wales contingent to Sudan and the belief that 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' ['Sweet and seemly it is to die for our country'] or rather the 'parent land' who needs to 'feel she has her children about her'.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Beatrice Kerr collection

    Assigned title: Special illustrated edition of The Echo commemorating the Sudan War

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