previous attempt to relieve the fort having resulted in the relief column being decimated and barely reaching it a second attempt has been launched.
Realising that another attempt across the desert was probably equally doomed a riverborne scheme was hatched. The steamer Lotus has been sent packed with detachments from the Royal Marine Light Infantry, King's Royal Rifle Corps and the Naval Brigade - so much so that the RMLI had to be relegated a barge towed alongside.
Having successfully repulsed the earlier attacks the Fort remains under the command of Captain Cyril “Barmy” Fotheringay-Phipps and his detachment of the 1st Cameron Highlanders supported by the 9th Soudanese although both units have suffered some casualties.
The relief expedition is commanded by Captain George J. "Fruity" Biffen supported by Captain George “Boko” Fittleworth of the RMLI and Lieutenant Alexander “Oofy” Prosser of the KRRC. Leaving a small force from the Naval Brigade along with their Gardner gun on the steamer the remaining troops marched out.
Meanwhile, the fort came under fire from a captured Egyptian artillery piece and its captured crew.
The Naval Brigade spotted movement in some nearby rough ground and advanced toward it - they had second thoughts once they identified what it was!
With the relief force engaged the Mahdists assaulted the fort. Many were cut down in the rush to the wall but a scaling ladder went up and a melee ensued.
With the Naval Brigade forced to withdraw it was down to the KRRC to hold back the enemy. A couple of volleys and some cold hard steel soon had them on their heels.
But the RMLI were facing their own threat. But a cool head prevailed and Boko formed them into a line and poured fire into the advancing mob.
But still they closed - bloody hand to hand fighting ensued and the Mahdists were thrown back with heavy casualties.
The remaining Beja emerged from the ruins near the fort - one party to renew the assault and the other to hold up the relief forces. The advancing Naval Brigade detachment took up defensive positions in another ruin ready to bear the brunt of the assault.
Whilst the Lotus steamed up and down the river bank engaging the Mahdist riflemen on the shoreline.
In the end the last assault on the fort was repulsed and the attack on the relief force petered out and so the fort was finally relieved!