126 Guards Camel Regiment, 1885
After defeating the Egyptian army in 1882 the British government became involved in attempting to help Egypt rule the Sudan.
Throughout 1883 the Mahdi took control of the desert tribes of the Sudan, and defeated 11,000 Egyptian troops under colonel Hicks. With recruits rushing to join the Mahdi’s cause, the British government decided to evacuate the garrisons in the Sudan, and the task was to be conducted by General Gordon, who became besieged in Khartoum.
To relieve him, an Expeditionary Force under Sir Garnet Wolseley was sent and with a large flotilla of boats proceeded up the river Nile. However, due to the river's many difficult cataracts this was proving too slow and the Desert Column was formed to travel directly across the desert. The Column of 1800 men included Camel Regiments, artillery, horse cavalry and infantry. They fought battles at Abu Klea and Abu Kru, but eventually were turned back when it was learned that Gordon and about 4,000 people had perished in Khartoum while the relief force was only a few miles away.