Naval Brigade clearing streets of Alexandria with the Gatling
Alexandria: 1882. An original, hand drawn sketch depicting a naval brigade clearing the streets of Alexandria. Ink on white paper. This would seem to have been an initial sketch, as the foreground (the brigade with the gun) is well worked, whilst the background is less defined. There are a couple of notes on the sheet. A couple of the figures in the sketch are also labelled Royal Marine and Officer. This would appear to be the first draft of a news report - similar to that which appeared as the front page of the Illustrated London News for July 29th 1882. Sketch is 240 x 160 mm. Good clean condition. It is pasted onto a larger sheet of pale brown card. This is 500 x 320 mm and is creased and darkened, and with a few closed tears. A very nice piece of historical visual documentation. Following the cutting of the Suez canal, British interests in Egypt deepened, and in May 1882 there was an uprising by Urabi Pasha. After an initial heavy naval bombardment, Naval Brigades and Marines were sent ashore to restore order. The revolt was quashed, and Egypt came under partial British control until the Second World War. The drawing clearly shows the use of a hopper fed Gatling gun. This weapon, developed in 1865, was used by the British Army from 1873. This conflict was the first use of the Gatling by the Royal Navy.