HC Deb 27 June 1907 vol 177 cc71-2
MR. KETTLE (Tyrone, E.)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is now in a position to give information as to certain casualties re-ported to have been sustained by No. 2 Company, Camel Corps, which left for Bir Natron, under Bimbashi Whittingham, in February last.

(Answered by Secretary Sir Edward Grey.) The garrison of Bir Natron evacuated that post on 10th or 15th April, intending to proceed to Abu Tabari, where they expected to meet the convoy of supplies which had left Debba on 12th March. The party consisted of one officer, forty men, eight women, one child, thirty-eight camels, and a guide. On the fourth day of their march, having failed to reach Abu Tabari, the guide confessed that he had lost his way, and advised that scouts should be sent out. Two parties were accordingly despatched, of which one found the convoy above referred to, from which they obtained water for their party, and retraced their steps. On regaining their party they found only eleven men, seven women, and a boy; the officer, nineteen men, one woman and two Arabs having, for some reason which cannot be ascertained, gone southwards with all the camels. A search party was sent out to find them, but a dust storm frustrated their efforts, and the remainder of the party, with the help of the convoy, moved into Abu Tabari. From there information as to the incident was sent to Khandak, and Search parties were at once sent out, with the result that the second scouting party were discovered alive; but although every effort was made no trace could be found of the officer's party which had started south, with the exception of one body. It is, therefore, to be feared that the officer, Mulazim Awal Ali Effendi Hassan, and the twenty-two persons with him have lost their lives. All the survivers are. well and have arrived at El Bab, in Wadi el Kab.