HC Deb 05 August 1889 vol 339 cc329-30
COLONEL EYRE (Lincoln, Gainsborough)

Has the Secretary of State for War any further news from Sir Francis Grenfell?


Sir Francis Grenfell telegraphed to me last night that the loss amongst his force was 17 killed, including one English private soldier, and 131 wounded, of whom six were Englishmen. The House will, I am sure, be gratified to find that so stubborn a contest and so complete a success, showing great gallantry on the part of all the troops engaged, has resulted in no greater loss to our force. He adds:— I reconnoitred with mounted troops at day-light this morning; found Dervish force completely broken up; cavalry following up the few fighting men that remain. I have now over 1,000 prisoners and wounded Dervishes here, and refugees are coming in fast. Gunboats patrolling. I have sent Wodehouse's column south to Abu Simbel to head retreating Dervishes. As various questions have been asked in this House with regard to the state of the Dervishes who have fallen into our hands, I think hon. Members may like to hear an extract from a private letter written to me by Sir Francis Grenfell on this subject, dated 22nd ultimo:— I think you may be glad to know that all my officers are doing their very best to alleviate distress. All who come in are rationed and well treated. I have sent up five large sailing boats full of food and medical comforts, with a doctor, to pick up and feed starving Dervishes. We have now (July 22) relieved not less than 1,200, and above 400 I have sent straight down to Cairo.

SIR W. LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

Does General Grenfell state the estimated number of the enemy slain?


No, Sir; he does not say that in his last Despatch.

SIR W. BARTTELOT (Sussex, Horsham)

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether, with the exception of the 20th Hussars, any British troops were employed? It is stated that there were five or six British soldiers wounded.


Some of the British officers belonged to the Egyptian Army. The 20th Hussars was the only British force engaged. A portion of the force was composed, not of black troops, but of fellaheen.