Woolwich loading materials for the Souakim Railway antique print. Original front page from The Illustrated London News’ published 12th. July 1884, showing the loading of materials for the building of a railway as part of the British Army’s campaign against the Mahdi in Sudan.
Souakim or Suakin or Sawakin (Arabic: سواكن Sawákin) is a port city in northeastern Sudan, on the west coast of the Red Sea, it was formerly the region’s chief port, but is now secondary to Port Sudan, about 30 miles to the north. The British Army was involved at Suakin in 1883–1885 and Lord Kitchener was there in this period leading the Egyptian Army contingent. Suakin was his headquarters and his force survived a lengthy siege there. The Australian colonial forces of Victoria offered their torpedo boat HMVS Childers, and gunboats HMVS Victoria and HMVS Albert, which arrived in Suakin on 19 March 1884 on their delivery voyage from Britain, only to be released as fighting had moved inland. They departed on 23 March, arriving in Melbourne on 25 June 1884. An essentially civilian military force of 770 men from New South Wales, including some of the Naval Brigade, arrived in Suakin in March 1885 and served until mid-May. After the Mahdi‘s defeat, the British preferred to develop the new Port Sudan rather than engage in the extensive rebuilding and expansion that would be necessary to make Suakin comparable. By 1922, the last of the British had left
The Illustrated London News appeared first on Saturday 14 May 1842, as the world’s first illustrated weekly news magazine. Founded by Herbert Ingram, it appeared weekly until 1971, then less frequently thereafter, and ceased publication in 2003. The company continues today as Illustrated London News Ltd, a publishing, content and digital agency in London, which holds the publication and business archives of the magazine.