Shortly after British troops arrived in Crete in March 1897, Cretan Christians attempted to take over the Ottoman fortress covering the entrance to Suda Bay, Fort Izzedin. The fort was important to the Europeans because of the threat its modern guns offered to the European Fleets anchored in the Bay.
The Christians were driven off with the aid of gunfire from the European fleet and to prevent a recurrence, the fort was taken over by a mixed European force under the command of Colonel Bor, Royal Marine Artillery.
Bor had been sent to Crete in 1896 to take charge of reorganised Ottoman gendarmerie but the reorganisation proved a failure when the gendarmes, not having been paid for 18 months, mutinied and shot their Ottoman commander. On being put in charge of Izzedin, Bor was given the honorary rank of Colonel, his substantive rank being Major.