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I recall reading that there was a taunt among certain regiments, "Broken Square." Any idea who this was aimed at, or by whom?

Does this have anything to do with the Battle of Abu Klea? I know the square broke, but it was still a British victory. The square was re-established, and the battle was brief.

Am I thinking of something else?

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Thanks Bob. Once you told me the units, I was able to find the source.

I have it in Byron Farwell's "Queen Victoria's Little Wars." It was an engagement at Tamai, against the Dervishes. Welsh and Highland troops were fighting and the Welsh soldiers do call out "Broken Square" to pick a fight.

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  • 3 months later...

Rudyard Kipling has a poem about the "Fuzzy-Wuzzy", written in a tone of admiration and in the voice of a "Tommy".

"So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;

You're a poor benighted 'eathen but a first class fightin' man;

We gives you your certificate, an' if you want it signed

We'll come and 'ave a romp with you whenever you're inclined."

"..But give an' takes the gospel, an' we'll call the bargain fair,

For if you 'ave lost more than us, you crumpled up the square!'


Edited by peter monahan
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