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Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892

Father ohrwalder's journey to the sudan


should be borne in mind that the circumstances under which Father Ohrwalder lived in the Sudan precluded him from keeping any written record of his life; it was therefore agreed that I should supervise his work which, I need scarcely add, it has given me great pleasure to do. Father Ohrwalder's manuscript, which was in the first instance written in German, was roughly translated into English by Yusef Effendi Cudzi, a Syrian; this I entirely rewrote in narrative form. The work does not therefore profess to be a literal translation of the original manuscript, but rather an English version, in which I have sought to reproduce accurately Father Ohrwalder's meaning in the language of simple narration.

England and the British public in general have shown so much interest in the stirring events which have occurred in the Sudan, and in which many gallant British officers and men have lost their lives, that it is Father Ohrwalder's desire that the narrative of his experiences should be published in the first instance in England, as his modest tribute to the nation which struggled so gallantly, and so nearly successfully, to effect the relief of Khartum and the rescue of those unfortunate Europeans who, like himself, had fallen into the hands of a cruel and merciless enemy.

It seems almost incredible that such sufferings as the European captives endured did not long ago bring to them the happy release of death they so

ardently longed for; but it was not to be. The door of escape, which they had thought closed to them for ever, suddenly opened, and they did not fear to risk the dangers and perils of that terrible desert journey, with scanty food and water, and the sure knowledge that they must ride for bare life; re-capture would have ended in certain death, or, at best, perpetual incarceration in a prison, the horrors of which beggar description. In spite, however, of all he has endured, Father Ohrwalder longs for the time when it may be possible for him to return to the Sudan and continue the Mission work so suddenly and hopelessly interrupted since 1882.

I am greatly indebted to Mr. Walter C. Horsley for the admirable manner in which he has executed his portion of the illustrations. The remainder are chiefly from photographs, taken by Mr. Lekegian in his photographic studio in Cairo, of Dervish prisoners captured at the action of Toski, and of refugees who have recently reached Cairo from Equatoria, through the territory administered by the Imperial British East Africa Company.

F. R. WINGATE. CAIRO, _30th July, 1892_.


[A] Published under the title of 'Mahdiism and the Egyptian Sudan.' London: Macmillan & Co. 1891.



FATHER OHRWALDER'S JOURNEY TO THE SUDAN. PAGE Description of Kordofan and Dar Nuba--The Mission Station at Delen 1



The rise of the Mahdi--Early successes--Personal appearance --His Khalifas described--Military organization--Makes new laws--He summons El Obeid to surrender 6


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