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The Siege of ( March 13, 1884, to January 26, 1885 ) and subsequent fall of Khartoum was the conquest of the British held city by the Mahdist forces led by the fanatical Muhammad Ahmad. When the city ran out of money, it’s leader, Charles ‘Chinese’ Gordon was a top notch & gifted officer who had distinguished himself in many campaigns in the Far East, particularly China. Gordon came up with the idea to issue paper notes denominated in local currency immediately and to have them backed by the British Government ( which the UK treasury knew nothing about and refused to accept ). He signed this one personally. When the Mahdi heard of this, he swore that anyone from Khartoum found with these notes would be put to death. And so these notes all disappeared for more than 100 years until a group surfaced in a London bank.