J. D. H. Stewart

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John Donald Hamill Stewart
John Donald Hamill Stewart.jpg
Colonel Stewart
Born15 October 1845
DiedSeptember 1884 (aged 38)
El Obeid, Khedivate of Egypt
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom / British Empire
Flag of Egypt (1882-1922).svg Khedivate of Egypt
Service/branchBritish Army
Egyptian Army
Years of service1865 – 1884
Battles/warsMahdist War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of St Michael and St George

John Donald Hamill Stewart, CMG (15 October 1845 – September 1884)[1] was a British soldier. He accompanied General Gordon to Khartoum in 1884 as his assistant. He died in September 1884 attempting to run the blockade from the besieged city at the hands of the Manasir tribesmen and followers of Muhammad Ahmad Al-Mahdi.

Military career[edit]

Stewart was appointed a Cornet in the British 11th Hussars in 1865. In 1882 Lieutenant Colonel Stewart was instructed to prepare a report on the Sudan where Muhammad Ahmad Al-Mahdi was defying the Egyptian Government with success. After a journey to Khartoum and return to Egypt the "Report on the Soudan" (1883) was finished.

He returned with Gordon as second-in-command on his journey to Khartoum commencing with departure from Victoria station in February 1884. Wounded during the siege, Stewart led an attempt to break the blockade aboard the Steamer Abbas in September 1884, along with the British consul Frank Power (who was also the correspondent from The Times), the French consul Léon Herbin, and other residents of Khartoum.[2] The attempt failed when the Abbas ran aground on a rock near Abu Hamad. All passengers and crew were killed by Arab tribes ashore.[3] Gordon learned of this a few weeks later when he received a letter from the Mahdi that quoted from letters that Stewart had been carrying with him on the Abbas.[3]


Richard Johnson portrayed Stewart in the film Khartoum.[4]


  1. ^ "The Late Colonel Stewart". The Aberdeen Journal. Aberdeen, Scotland. 11 October 1884. p. 6. Retrieved 2014-08-12 – via The British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). John Donald Hamill Stewart was born 15 October 1845. He inherited a small estate in County Down, England although his widowed mother lived in Dublin. Educated at Cheltenham, he passed out of Sandhurst and was posted in 1865 to India.
    He received his first commission as ensign in the 11th Hussars on 13 January 1869, and had a career with steady promotion, Cornet 11th Hussars 10th Oct 1865, Lieutenant 11th Hussars 13th Jan 1869, Captain 11th Hussars 12th May 1876, Major 11th Hussars 18th May 1881 and Lt-Col 11th Hussars 1st July 1881. On 27 April 1879, he was appointed Vice-Consul in Asia Minor...
  2. ^ Churchill, Winston S. (1952), The river war – an account of the Reconquest of the Sudan, Eyre and Spottiswoode, London. Online(1902 Edition) at Project Gutenberg
  3. ^ a b Bermann, Richard A. (2010) [1932]. The Mahdi of Allah: A Drama of the Sudan. New York, NY: Cosimo Classics. p. 236.
  4. ^ "Actor Richard Johnson dies at 87". theguardian.com. The Guardian. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.


  • Hill, Richard. (1967). A Biographical Dictionary of the Sudan. London: Frank Cass & Co

External links[edit]