Sikhs In The Army

Sikh Regiment in Sudan 1885

1885 The Egyptian Campaign,

15th Ludhiana Sikhs

ln 1885 whilst stationed at Luckrow, orders were given to

proceed to Bombay to join the Egytian Expeditionary Force and

great enthusiam was shown at the thought of active service. The

force collected in camps around Suakin and at first nothing important

occurred except for continual raids by the Arabs. In many cases these

raids were successful and resulted in some casualties and loss of rifles and equipment. To enable the force to reach Osman Digma's stronghold it was decided to build zarebas along the route to Tatmai.

These zarebas were to contain food and water and were to be

garrisoned by detachments for this purpose. Troops were collected

under Sir John McNeill and set out on the 22nd March for Tofrek

where the frrst zareba was to be built. On arriving at Tofrek the

Indian units formed three sidcs of 6 a square or protection. and troop

of cavalry went out in adlvance to recconnoitre. Whilst the Blitish

troops, amorg whom were the Royal Berksirire Regiment, were out

in front collecting bushes for the zareba, the Cavalry suddenly came

dashing back without any warning, closely followed by Arab

spearsmen. The Berkshires just had time to get back to the Sguare

and whilst they were collecting their arms the attack fell on the I5th

Silks. For some time the fate of the whole force depended on them.

but rhe Berkshires  were quick in getting back into formation and with

their assistance it was not long before the Arabs were driven off. Our

losses mouted to 610 killed and wounded and those of the enemy.

were estimated at 2000. The result of these heavy enemy losses was

that Osman Digma lost most cf his best troops and there was no great

opposition in reaching Tomai.

March 22rd, the anniversary of this battle, is still celebrated as

a holiday in both the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the

15th Sikhs Regiment.