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Wingate, Sir Francis Reginald

WINGATE, SIR FRANCIS REGINALD (1861- ), British general and administrator in the Sudan, was born at Broadfield, Renfrewshire, on the 25th of June 1861, being the seventh son of Andrew Wingate of Glasgow and Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Turner of Dublin. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and became a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1880. He served in India and Aden, 1881- 1883, and in the last-named year joined the Egyptian army on its reorganization by Sir Evelyn Wood, and in the Gordon Relief Expedition of 1884-1885 was A.D.C. and military secretary to Sir Evelyn. For his services he received the brevet rank of major. After holding an appointment in England for a brief period he rejoined the Egyptian army in 1886. He took part in the operations on the Sudan frontier in 1889, including the engagement at Toski and in the further operations in 1891, being present at the capture of Tokar. In 1894 he was governor of Suakin. His principal work was in the Intelligence branch of the service, of which he became director in 1892. A master of Arabic, his knowledge of the country, the examination of prisoners, refugees and others from the Sudan, and the study of documents captured from the Dervishes enabled him to publish in 1891 Mahdiism and the Egyptian Sudan, an authoritative account of the rise of the Mahdi and of subsequent events in the Sudan up to that date. Largely through his instrumentality Father Ohrwalder and two nuns escaped from Omdurman in 1891. Wingate also made the arrangements which led to the escape of Slatin Pasha in 1895. The English versions of Father Ohrwalder's narrative (Ten Years in the Mahdi' s Camp, 1892) and of Slatin's book (Fire and Sword in the Sudan, 1896) were from Wingate's pen, being rewritten from a rough translation of the original German.

As director of military intelligence he served in the campaigns of 1896-1898 which resulted in the reconquest of the Sudan, including the engagement at Firket, the battles of the Atbara and Omdurman and the expedition to Fashoda. In an interval (March- June 1897) he went to Abyssinia as second in command of the Rennell Rodd mission. For his services he was made colonel, an extra A.D.C. to Queen Victoria, received the thanks of parliament and was created K.C.M.G. Wingate was in command of an expeditionary force which in November 1899 defeated the remnant of the Dervish host at Om Debreikat, Kordofan, the khalifa being among the slain. For this achievement he was made K.C.B. In December of the same year, on Lord Kitchener being summoned to South Africa, Sir Reginald Wingate succeeded him as governor-general of the Sudan and sirdar of the Egyptian army. His administration of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan was conspicuously successful, the country, after the desolation of the Mahdia, rapidly regaining a measure of prosperity. In 1903 he was raised to the rank of major-general and in 1908 became lieutenant-general. He was also created a pasha and in 1905 received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from Oxford University. In 1909, at the request of the British government, Wingate undertook a special mission to Somaliland to report on the military situation in connexion with the proposed evacuation of the interior of the protectorate.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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