Captain Gill's Walking Stick: The True Story of the Sinai Murders

Captain Gill's Walking Stick: The True Story of the Sinai Murders

by Saul Kelly

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At an auction in Edinburgh in 2010, the sale of an old walking stick belonging to a British officer, Captain Gill, shed new light on one of the mysterious crimes of the Victorian era. Captain William Gill and his companions, the noted Arabist Professor Edward Palmer of Cambridge University and a young naval lieutenant, Harold Charrington, were killed in an ambush by Bedouin in the Sinai Desert in 1883. The trio had been tasked with informal diplomacy in the region, specifically to prevent the Arab sheikhs from joining the Egyptian rebels and to secure their non-interference with the Suez Canal. The gruesome murders shocked late-Victorian Britain, and led to pressure from the Queen, Parliament and the Press for the British government to launch a manhunt for the killers in a vast desert area with mountainous terrain.
This book traces the story behind the murder of the three men, uncovering the reason for their journey to the desert, the story of the murder itself and the backlash home in England. It shines light on a fascinating, forgotten crime, as well as on early intelligence operations in the Middle East.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786726087
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 05/16/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Saul Kelly is Reader in International History in the Defence Studies Department, King's College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, and also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of The Hunt for Zerzura: The Lost Oasis and the Desert War; Cold War in the Desert: Britain, the United States and the Italian Colonies, 1945-52 and Whitehall and the Suez Crisis.

Table of Contents

List of Plates viii

Acknowledgements x

Maps xi

1 Captain Gill's walking stick 1

2 Recovering Jerusalem 9

3 In the Desert of the Exodus 49

4 On secret service in the Sinai 85

5 Manhunt in the desert 113

6 Warren and the Bedouin 143

7 The final judgement 177

8 A modern-day Moses 209

Appendix: Dramatis personae 219

Appendix: Principal tribes of the Sinai 223

Notes 227

Bibliography 251

Index 259

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