Letter from lndan

Gerry van Tonder presents an eyewitness perspective of the little-known Battle of Atbara, thanks to exclusive access to an old general’s letter report that the Khalifa has informed his followers that he

Spies report that the Khalifa has informed his followers that he intends the big fight to take plact in the Mountains of Kordofan... It almos seems incredible that he will let us walk into Omdurman unopposed."

In a letter from Berbera on May 6, Lieutenant Arthur Blair, of the 9th Sudanese Battalion, set the scene for battle. The coming action on the Atbara followed a clash only weeks before, and four months later, Britain would celebrate the "crowning victory"

His letter was to a friend, Captain William Furse, then a staff captain and deputy assistant adjutant general. I recently conducted extensive research into Furse’s service life on behalf of his great-grandson, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick Furse Talbot-King, chief of staff at the Royal School of Artillery.

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