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Medal - Departure of the Troops for Soudan, New South Wales, Australia, 1885 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20312

Summary:
Australia New South Wales Sydney
Departure of the Troops for Soudan 1885 (AD)
Mint: not recorded
Other Details: The NSW government cabled London in late 1884 offering to provide military assistance to the beseiged General Charles Gordon fighting to support the British-backed Egyptian regime in the Sudan. Britain accepted, but insisted that the contingent would be under British command. The news was received with great enthusiasm in New South Wales, marking the first time that soldiers in the pay of a self-governing Australian colony would fight in an imperial war. On 3 March 1885 an infantry battalion of 522 men and 24 officers, and an artillery battery of 212 men, set sail. A public holiday was held to mark the occasion, described as the most festive ever seen in Sydney, and this medal was issued. Many people were hostile to the war, however, particularly in working-class suburbs and rural areas. The Australian contingent in the Soudan sailed for home on 17 May 1885, a mere 50 days after they had arrived. Australian casualties were few, and those who died fell to disease rather than enemy action. It was generally agreed that, no matter how insignificant the military contribution by New South Wales, it marked an important stage in the development of colonial self-confidence and demonstrated the important of links with Britain.
Previous Collections: George McArthur
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 23 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 5.26 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: siege of khartoum 1884-1885, wars conflicts
Themes this item is part of: Charles George Gordon, Major General, British Army (1833-1885), George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Public Life & Institutions Collection, McArthur Bequest
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: military history
Series: Commemorative
DateEra: 1885 AD
Obverse Description: Bust of General Gordon wearing cap, right; around, GENERAL GORDON C.B.
Reverse Description: Within octagonal border, around, TO COMMEMORATE THE DEPARTURE OF ; in six lins at centre;
THE / N.S.W. / TROOPS / TO / SOUDAN / . MAR-3-85 .
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Plain (edge)
General Gordon (obverse)
(reverse)
Shape: Round with hole
Material: Gilt Copper
Issued By: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Person Depicted: General Charles Gordon, Australia
Previous Collection: George McArthur
References: Car 1885/3
Bibliography:
  1. [Thesis] Lugton, Mary E. 1989. George McArthur of Maldon: his Life and his Book Collection.
  2. [Catalogue] Morrison, Ian. 2003. The Baker of Maldon.

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