1885 and 1891 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF BRITISH COLONIAL EXPEDITIONS AND WARFARE FOLLOWING THE LOSS OF KHARTOUM AND GENERAL GORDON IN THE SUDAN AND THEN LATER IN LAGOS NIGERIA

By: LT. F. J. DAVIES

Price: $8,455.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a superb, significant manuscript relic of British military campaigns and expeditions to Africa in the latter half of the 19th Century at Suakim of the Sudan in 1885 and Lagos Nigeria in 1891 being an original diary of the two expeditions handwritten by Lieut. F. J. Davies, a member of the distinguished military family based at Elmley Castle, Worcestershire and attached to the Grenadier Guards, the most elevated being Lt. General Henry Fanshawe Davies (most likely F J Davies' father). Davies does a super job relating his life as an officer writing entries some brief, others more detailed, from the mundane: a cricket match, deck football, a dance and comments on places en route to Suakim and Lagos to the historically significant eyewitness accounts of Victorian warfare interspersed with lighter moments; descriptions of military engagements and observations on people, places and politics with some of the comments being typical of the times but not politically correct today. The first section of the large approximately 9.5 x 8 inch album is related to Suakim, the second British expedition following the fall of Khartoum in 1884. The Battle of Hasheen is described in some detail. Davies wrote the account in a different book of over 100 sheets, oddly hand numbered starting at page 55, then single digits then through 229, [obviously he did not transfer each page he wrote in the earlier book], then a newsclipping and photo having been cut and transferred and then glued into this album and it includes a group photograph (200 x 150 mm) showing the officers on the expedition. Davies has identified all in pencil below the photo. The Suakim diary dates from February 18th to June 4th and begins when they left England on the SS Australia. Here are some snippets: SUAKIM: Feb 19th "…marched up to the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle…Her Majesty appeared at a window and was received with a Royal salute…we marched back to the barracks. The Eton fellows cheered us like anything." Feb 27th "African coast in sight …played cricket on deck…everybody has left off wearing great coats…most of us wear our blue patrol jackets…football on quarter deck in the afternoon." March 18th "There are rumours we shall go home as soon as Osman Digina (?) is beaten leaving the line regiment to finish the work and cover the railway." March 20th A ten page account of fighting at Hasheen together with a sketch plan. Detailed timings and numbers of casualties. March 29th, arrival of SS Iberia with troops from N.S. Wales. "Heard that govt were arming ocean steamers as armed cruisers and that a large number of ships were being commissioned for service in the Baltic." After Suakim and a few blank pages in the album the expedition to Lagos in 1891 begins. This expedition was motivated by action by the Ijeba tribe who were cutting off the residents of the Lagos district from up-country supplies of goods. Lagos had been a British Crown Colony since 1886. The diary runs to about 75 pages and covers the period March 26th to June 28th. The ship used was the British and African Co. SS Cameron. The pages in this sections are somewhat browned around the edges, a different paste clearly being used from the Suakim sheets. Here are some snippets: LAGOS: 13th April, Sierra Leone "The inhabitants comprise every possible species…in every possible costume from a state of nature to a black coat and top hat." The officer of Frontier Police tells Davies of a skirmish. Their opponents "did not belong to any particular tribe but were a collection of bad characters and runaway slaves." "We took in 20 Kroo boys to work the ship - their dress is often very funny - the usually have a stiff billycock hat with heir name written on." 20th April, arrival in Lagos. "Seems a healthy place…No official has died here in the last four years." Davies is given charge of a company of Lagos Housas (about 40 men). May 16th Preparations for battle - details of force listed. Details of advance, terrain and fighting give. The military activity and its aftermath last for about 10 days and are covered in some detail. Accounts of looters being flogged. "I found Col. Scott standing in the courtyard with the 3 Ibadan chiefs lying flat on their stomachs in front of him…if the chiefs' men did not give in their arms at once, the chiefs would be hung." Contained in an album 240 x 200 x 40 mm the entries are written on sheets about 185 x 100 mm taken from a perforated notebook and pasted onto the thicker pages of the album. The album itself is sound though with varying degrees of wear to edges and corners. Overall G+.

Title: 1885 and 1891 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF BRITISH COLONIAL EXPEDITIONS AND WARFARE FOLLOWING THE LOSS OF KHARTOUM AND GENERAL GORDON IN THE SUDAN AND THEN LATER IN LAGOS NIGERIA

Author Name: LT. F. J. DAVIES

Categories: 19th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Diary,

Publisher: SUAKIM SUDAN LAGOS NIGERIA AFRICA, 1885

Book Condition: Good+

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0001904

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