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Charles Baker

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Born in Rochester in Kent, he was a groom before he enlisted in 1879, aged 18 years. He served with the 2nd Battalion DLI in Egypt and received a bullet wound in the neck at the Battle of Ginnis on 30 December 1885. He later rose to the rank of Lance Sergeant but was reduced to Private for an unknown crime. He was given a free discharge in 1892.

In 1881 the newly created 2nd Battalion DLI DLI left Ireland for garrison duty in the Mediterranean. After four uneventful years on Malta and Gibraltar the Durhams were ordered to Egypt to help meet the threat of invasion from the Sudan. Landing at Alexandria in February 1885, 2 DLI moved into barracks in Cairo. In November, after months of inaction and with many soldiers sick, the battalion was finally sent south by train and steamer to Upper Egypt. On 30 December 1885 a combined British and Egyptian Army defeated the Sudanese invaders at Ginnis on the River Nile. In just a few hours over 500 Sudanese soldiers were killed and 300 wounded. The Durhams lost just 4 soldiers wounded - one fatally. However with the fighting over 2 DLI faced a far worse enemy - cholera - and before they left Egypt for India in January 1887 disease had killed 56 men

Charles Baker

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