The National Archives British Battles
Print page Close window



Wolseley's appointment

No. 119

From the Secretary of State, War Office, to General Sir G.J. Wolseley, G.C.B., G.C.M.G

4th August 1882.


HER Majesty having been graciously pleased to appoint you to the command of the army ordered for service in Egypt, in support of the authority of His Highness the Khedive, as established by the Firmans of the Sultan and existing international engagements, to suppress a military revolt in that country, I have received the Queen's directions to instruct you to assume the command of an expeditionary force for that purpose without delay.

The force which Her Majesty has placed under your command, proceeding from this country, consists of –

  • 4 Regiments of Cavalry,
  • 8 Batteries of Royal Artillery,
  • 1 Ammunition Column,
  • 6 Troops and Companies of Royal Engineers,
  • 10 Battalions of Infantry,

making a total of 14,794 non-commissioned officers and men of all arms.

You will also have under your command a force to be despatched from India, consisting of -

  • 3 Regiments Native Cavalry,
  • 1 Mountain Battery of Artillery,
  • 2 Companies Madras Sappers,
  • 1 British Battalion of Infantry,
  • 3 Native Battalions of Infantry,

making a total of 4,586 non-commissioned officers and men.

Another portion of the force consisting of -

  • 4 Garrison Batteries of Artillery,
  • 2 Companies Malta Fencible Artillery,
  • 1 Company Royal Engineers,
  • 6½½ Battalions of Infantry,

making a total of 6,186 non-commissioned officers and men, to be under your command, has already, as you are aware, proceeded to Egypt, and is now engaged in the protection of Alexandria.

Her Majesty's Government do not wish to fetter your discretion as to the particular military operations which may be necessary, but the main object of the Expedition is to re-establish the power of the Khedive.

Her Majesty's Government empower you, after successful operations against Arabi and those in arms against His Highness the Khedive, to enter into any military convention which the circumstances warrant, but no arrangements involving a political settlement should be made by you. It will be desirable, should time and circumstances admit, that the terms of any convention should be referred to.

Her Majesty's Government before being finally decided, and in such case they should be simultaneously communicated to Her Majesty's Agent and Consul-General for the information of His Highness the Khedive.

You are aware that in the operations which have taken place at Alexandria, Admiral Sir B. Seymour, in the absence of Her Majesty's Agent and Consul-General, has been acting as the representative of Her Majesty's Government.

Sir Edward Malet being now about to return, this arrangement will cease upon his arrival.

Sir Beauchamp Seymour will be instructed to co-operate with you, and render you every assistance in his power.

Her Majesty's Government consider that the protection of the Suez Canal should be undertaken by the Fleet; you will communicate with the Admiral on this point and ascertain his arrangements.

Her Majesty's Consul-General in Egypt should be the medium of any communications which you may deem necessary to make to His Highness the Khedive.

I am &c.,

Go to top of page Print page Close window