Editor's note: ...In The Rehearsal: Australians at War in the Sudan (1985), K.S. Inglis observes that when the Iberia carrying the New South Wales contingent crossed the equator, the moment 'called up many happy memories', for many of these volunteers originally hailed from the northern hemisphere. The ship had steamed through Sydney Heads on 3 March 1885, farewelled by an ecstatic crowd of some 200 000. Though a federated Australia was years off, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Moran, enthused that 'the blue flag of Australia, gemmed with the Southern Cross', could 'take its place on the battlefields of nations'. In reality, the NSW military commitment was an avid expression of colonial loyalty to the Motherland. Out in the Soudan is an obscure, transhistorical Anglo-Australian romance which expressed the 'electric thrill of those heady days.