Sir Francis Reginald Wingate is now best known as the uncle of Orde Wingate of Second World War fame, but in his time Reginald was the more important of the two. Early in his military career he took part in the unsuccessful attempt to rescue General Gordon at Khartoum. He spent the next thirty years in public service, taking part in the campaign that finally defeated the Dervishes, before spending two decades as the ruler of the Sudan.
He was in an unusual position during this period, serving as Sirdar (commander) of the Egyptian Army and Governor-General of the Sudan, which was officially ruled jointly by Britain and Egypt. In 1916 he played a major role in the Arab Revolt, supporting the rebels across the Red Sea. He was then promoted to High Commissioner of Egypt, a post he held until 1919 when he was rather unfairly removed from office after accurately reporting on the rise of Egyptian nationalism.
There are some moments where the author's personal opinions are a little too much to the fore (including some odd moments about the English and his views on the Arab-Israeli conflict). These don't detract from the overall text, and this is a well written biography of an important figure at the high point of the British Empire. The author takes us into Wingate's world, one of service to the Empire tempered by his genuine desire to help the people of the Sudan.
1 - Early Life (1861-1885)
2 - Intelligence Officer (1886-1899)
3 - Omdurman and Fashoda (1898-1899)
4 - Governor General and Sirdar (1899-1917)
5 - World War
6 - The Arab Revolt (1916)
7 - High Commissioner of Egypt (1917-1919)
8 - Peace at a Price (1919-21)
9 - Private Citizen and Businessman (1921-29)
10 - Orde Wingate: A Family Affair
11 - Wanderers (1930-1945)
12 - Final Years (1946-1953)
Appendix I: Declaration of Martial Law in Egypt
Appendix II: Turkish Propaganda Leaflet
Appendix III: McMahon-Hussein Letter (excerpt)
Author: R J M Pugh
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military