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British Battles

British Battles

Egypt, 1882


The end of the war

Once Tel-el-Kebir was in British hands, a number of infantry and cavalry divisions moved off to secure other positions. These included a triumphant march on Cairo on 14 September. Urabi and his associates were taken prisoner, court-martialled and exiled to Sri Lanka; Khedive Tawfiq was restored to power. The war was effectively over.

Rebuilding Alexandria

The badly damaged city of Alexandria was rebuilt, partly with British money that was paid to individuals who had lost property during the bombardment or in the earlier riot.


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Compensation claim - with transcript


Alexandria after the bombardment

A permanent British presence?

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Egypt after 1882 was a hybrid. It was formally an independent country, ruled by a khedive, whose overlord was, in legal terms, still the sultan of Turkey. But the reality was that power was in the hands of the British. There was a permanent British military presence in the form of a garrison to defend the Suez Canal. Possession of Egypt gave Britain responsibility for the Egyptian empire to the south in Sudan. Unrest led to several British expeditions there, including an attempt to rescue Charles Gordon who was besieged in Khartoum. Continued turbulence and unrest eventually led to Britain's withdrawal from Sudan in 1896.

In 1888 an international convention allowed vessels of any nation to use the Suez Canal. Egypt became a British protectorate in 1914. It obtained full independence two decades later, under the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936; Britain, however, retained its garrison and air bases and continued to enjoy naval facilities at Alexandria. In 1956, Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal in order to raise revenue, which action led to the Suez Crisis.

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