The 79th Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 1873 – 1886
After the return of Lieutenant-Colonel Leith to camp, the following Regimental Orders were issued:-
"Camp to be struck at 5.45 P.M. Tents, blankets, greatcoats, valises, and band instruments to be piled alongside the railway, and left in charge of a guard.
"The regiment to fall in at 6.30 P.M. Each man to carry 100 rounds of ammunition.
"The position of Tel-el-Kebir is to be attacked with the bayonet; no one is to load, not a shot is to be fired until over the intrenchments."
The position assigned to the Cameron Highlanders was the left centre of the Highland Brigade, with the 75th and 42nd to the right, and the 74th to the left, and the right of the A company had the honour of being the flank of direction for the brigade. Just as dawn was breaking, two shots were fired from the left front, one of which killed a private, and in a few seconds these shots were followed by others, the bugles of the Egyptians rang out, shells screamed overhead, and a living stream of fire poured from the enemy’s trenches. Bayonets were silently fixed, and the 79th moved steadily on in an unbroken line, not a shot being fired in reply. On the "advance" being sounded Lieutenant – Colonel Leith galloped to the front, waving his sword and calling, "Come on the 79th;" and then, breaking into double time to the shrill music of the pipes, the men cheering as they ran, the regiment charged the line of intrenchments. Through the now full trench, mounting on each other’s shoulders and scrambling up, the front line gained the fiery top. Men fell fast, as flash after flash continued along the line, until the bayonets had done their work, and the inside of the rampart was full of dead and dying. The Egyptians retreated straight to the rear, turning from time to time and kneeling to fire, the front line following them up in a confused mass— Pipe-Major Grant playing "The March of the Cameron Men" lustily. The second line, which had now surmounted the works, became mixed with the first; and before any effort to reform the regiment could be successful, it was evident that a heavy cross-fire from shelter trenches on each side must be silenced. Advancing therefore to the left in skirmishing order, a portion of the battalion speedily cleared the trench on that side, and drove the enemy along it and through a small camp to the trench in the rear. A two-gun redoubt in front was captured together with another on the left, killed the gunners in it.
The regiment sustained 62 officers and men killed and wounded during the assault.