State Library of NSW
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One of the most festive occasions in the colony's history was the departure of the NSW Contingent for the Sudan War from Circular Quay on 3 March 1885. The contingent was an ill-prepared infantry battalion of 522 men, 24 officers and an artillery battery of 212 men. The official send-off was cause for great excitement, generated in part by the holiday declared to farewell the troops. Fortunately, the contingent saw little action and returned home in July.