HC Deb 20 December 1888 vol 332 cc898-9
MR. HERMON-HODGE (Lancashire, Accrington)

I wish to ask the Secretary of State for War, Whether he can confirm the news in the public Press, to the effect that the forces under General Grenfell have fought a successful en- gagement; and whether he can place the House in possession of fuller information on the subject?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

We received a telegram this morning from General Grenfell, dated from Suakin at 8.30 this morning, which curiously, making allowance for difference of time, reached this country at 7.30 a.m. It says— Attacked trenches 7 a.m. this morning, Black Brigade storming them with great gallantry. Enemy fought desperately, losing very heavily. We captured both their guns. King's Own Borderers and Welsh punished enemy severely by their excellent volley firing. Navy assisted greatly by machine gun fire and 64-pounder. Enemy in full retreat on Hasheen and Handoub. And in a later telegram he gives further information, which I shall summarize. He estimates the dervish loss at 400. The 20th Hussars charged the dervish cavalry very brilliantly. Our loss, four privates of the 20th Hussars killed; Lieutenant Brown, Royal Irish Rifles, and Lieutenant David, of the Marines, and a few privates, whose names are given, slightly wounded. Among the Egyptian troops a sergeant and 17 men wounded, and 13 others received slight wounds, but are still with their regiments. The Egyptian troops seem to have amply justified the confidence placed in them by General Grenfell.