Saturday, May 05, 2012

Yorkshire Regiment in the Sudan - Battle of Ginnis

Pray silence please, ....    for my 500th post!  

I thank you ...  I now return you to your normal programming.....

Second figure from that pack of Newline Designs Sudan British figures (SUD05 - British Foot Advancing) .. for this figure I decided I'd go a bit traditional and get out the scarlet...

Increasingly, after the initial battles that followed the landings in Egypt (Alexandria and Tel el Kebir especially), the Imperial troops in the Sudan wore uniforms made from a polyglot collection of khaki shades (where the shade was dependant on where the cloth came from, local or India), or grey....  occasionally though, there were instances when the red serge was brought out...  Right or wrong (and increasingly the British command came to realise that their initial assumptions had been wrong), there was a view that the Dervish were more afraid of British troops, and that to make sure they knew they were facing British troops they had to wear the scarlet....  there was also an inherent conservativeness of the British general staff to overcome before the troops could move wholly into khaki.... and there was a perceived morale benefit.. fresh the glue is still wet...!

It is generally accepted (wrongly as I found out) that the last time British troops wore their red coats in battle was in the Sudan, at the Battle of Ginnis (December 30th,1885). It turns out that the occasion was actually at the Battle of Firka in 1896 where a maxim battery from the Connaught Rangers elected to fight the battle in their full dress, red coats...  they must have roasted!

Anyway... background to Ginnis...between June and December 1885 the border war consisted of only a series of attacks by the Dervish on the Anglo-Egyptian forts, followed by counter-raids. A large Dervish force gathered at the village of Ginnis near Fort Kosheh on the Nile in November. For over a month they made a nuisance of themselves by taking pot shots at the garrison etc., which consisted of the Cameron Highlanders and the IXth Sudanese. To bring this frontier war to a conclusion, an Anglo-Egyptian force was sent to Kosheh and on 30th December routed the Mahdist Army at Ginnis.

The Battle of Ginnis - from
The figure here represents one of the British battalions at Ginnis, in this case the Yorkshire Regiment, who were part of Colonel Huyshe's Second Brigade. He could just as easily have represented any one of the other Home Counties regiments present (1st Berkshire, the West Kent Regiment, 2nd Durham Light Infantry),as all of the British troops were dressed in scarlet coats..

According to the Perry's excellent painting guide the regiments probably would have retained their khaki  trousers and/or puttee's - this sounds fun to paint - though this guy is wearing his blue home service trousers albeit with the khaki puttee's.....

Battle of Ginnis (From Duncan´s 20mm Colonial Modelling)


  1. Awesome work on these British!
    Congrats on your 500 th post!

    Greetings Remco

  2. Beautiful painting! Congrats on the 500th too.

  3. Nice work as always and congratulations on your postings! Best, Dean

  4. Glad too see I'm not the only one so keen to blog I can't wait for the glue to dry ;-)

    Very well done once again mate and congrats on the 500 too.

  5. Blimey 500 posts!!!! Congratulations indeed, I'm nowhere near half that!! And a very nice painted figure too!!!