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Soudan Campaign Memorial Plaque : 13-October-2012
Soudan Campaign Memorial Plaque : 13-October-2012

Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson / Peter F Williams

The plaque commemorates the 120th anniversary of the Soudan Campaign in Egypt in 1885 and lists the names of the men from Goulburn who served in the campaign as soldiers from the Colony of New South Wales. 

With news of Gordon's death in January 1885and the Canadian government's offer of troops for the Sudan, the NSW government cabled London with its own offer. To make its proposal more attractive, it offered to meet the contingent's expenses. London accepted but stipulated that the contingent would be under British command. Similar offers from the other Australian colonies were declined. 

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. It left Sydney amid much public fanfare, generated in part by the holiday declared to farewell the troops. The send-off was described as the most festive occasion in the colony's history. Support was not, however, universal, and many viewed the proceedings with indifference or even hostility.  By May 1885 the British government had decided to abandon the campaign and left only a garrison in Suakin. The Australian contingent sailed for home on 17 May 1885.

The contingent arrived in Sydney on 19 June. They were expecting to land at Port Jackson and were surprised to disembark at the quarantine station on North Head near Manly as a precaution against disease. One man died of typhoid there before the contingent was released. Five days after their arrival in Sydney the contingent, dressed in their khaki uniforms, marched through the city to a reception at Victoria Barracks where they stood in pouring rain as a number of public figures, including the Governor, Lord Loftus, the premier, and the commandant of the contingent, Colonel Richardson, gave speeches. It was generally agreed at the time that, no matter how small the military significance of the Australian contribution to the adventure, it marked an important stage in the development of colonial self-confidence and was proof of the enduring link with Britain.


Address:Memorial Drive, Rocky Hill War Memorial Museum, Goulburn, 2580
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.756496
Long: 149.736816
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-March-1885
Actual Event End Date:23-June-1885


Actual Monument Dedication Date:2004
Front Inscription


This Plaque Is To Commemorate
The 120th Anniversary Of This Campaign
        And To Honour
The Goulburn Men Listed Below,
Who Went As Part Of The 
New South Wales Contingent To The Soudan 
(Egypt) On The 3rd March 1885 And All Returned
Safely On The 23rd June 1885.

[ Names ]

Source: MA,NRWM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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