Battle of Balaklava 25th October 1854

#1
Don't forget to raise a glass or mug of gunfire tea to the poor feckers who turned up for first parade 152 years ago and didn't make it to the end of the day

Cavalry Division - under Lieutenant-General the Earl of Lucan with a total force of 1,500 sabres and 6 field guns.

Heavy Brigade - Brigadier the Hon. James Scarlett
1st (Royal) Regiment of Dragoons (The Royals) - Lt. Col. John Yorke
2nd (Royal North British) Regiment of Dragoons (The Scots Greys) - Lt. Col. Henry Griffith
4th (Royal Irish) Regiment of Dragoon Guards - Lt. Col. Edward Hodge
5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Regiment of Dragoon Guards - Maj. Adolphus Burton
6th (Inskilling) Regiment of Dragoons - Lt. Col. Henry White

Light Brigade - Maj. Gen. the Earl of Cardigan
4th (The Queen's Own) Regiment of Light Dragoons - Lt. Col. Lord George Paget
8th (The King's Royal Irish) Regiment of Hussars - Lt. Col. Frederick Shewell
11th (Prince Albert's Own) Regiment of Hussars - Lt. Col. John Douglas
13th Regiment of Light Dragoons - Capt. John Oldman
17th Regiment of Light Dragoons (Lancers) - Capt. William Morris
 
#4
My dad was an Irish Hussar and I was born on Balaclava Day so tonight I shall be raising many a glass.

To all QRH who are still stuck in the sandpit have a good day and safe home.

Edited to add: Today is also the anniversary of Agincourt - 591 years ago. Death to the French!
 
#5
blue_sophist said:
My glass raised at this moment - poor sods.

"'Tis wondrous what the British Army can, and will, do despite failures in the higher command."

Well, let's not forget the Heavy Brigade who won a glorious victory over the Russian cavalry that same day - no failures in command there.
 
#6
Many (Too many, Hic!) glasses raised to all of them!
 
#8
brewmeister said:
Today is also the anniversary of Agincourt - 591 years ago. Death to the French!
Bit challenging, that one, if one regards 1066 as being the date when England became French. I think we recovered our equilibrium eventually, so broadly relate to your calumny!
 
#9
TangoFowerAlpha said:
blue_sophist said:
My glass raised at this moment - poor sods.

"'Tis wondrous what the British Army can, and will, do despite failures in the higher command."

Well, let's not forget the Heavy Brigade who won a glorious victory over the Russian cavalry that same day - no failures in command there.
Here's to the Heavies, good men one and all. And to the Light Brigade a gallant band.
 
#10
In memory of Thomas Warr who died in Dorchester on the 20th June 1916, one of the last of the Light Brigade.



The Last of the Light Brigade
1891
There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they kuew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an' we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be conbnued' and 'see next page' o'the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the sconrn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shamme.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made --"
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!
 
#11
I just caught the tail end of the item on southern news BBC TV about this ceremony held today:

http://archive.thisisdorset.net/2006/9/13/119392.html

Tribute to forgotten hero

From the archive, first published Wednesday 13th Sep 2006.

OLD soldier Thomas Warr is to be commemorated - more than 150 years after he rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade.

People lined the streets of his home town Dorchester when his coffin was carried to his final resting place at Fording-ton - but the Crimean War veteran was buried in a pauper's grave.

Former soldier Peter Metcalfe discovered the sad end to Trooper Warr's long and extraordinary life after visiting the Crimea two years ago to mark the 150th anniversary of the doomed charge.

And he vowed to ensure that Dorchester honours the man who returned to poverty in his old age when his Army days were done.

He said: "When I came back I was fired up with interest and found that a Dorchester man had been in the Charge and his horse had been shot under him.

"Trooper Warr served with the 11th Hussars until 1860 and eventually came back to Dorchester. He died at Dagmar Road in 1916 at the age of 87.

"The town gave him a full military funeral and people lined the streets for him but he was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave."

Mr Metcalfe contacted Paul Gawler of Woods Funeral Services near his home in Icen Way, Dorchester, to find out about getting a stone erected.

Mr Gawler said: "I've always been interested in history and when Peter told me about it and asked about getting a stone for the grave I thought about this old chap lying unmarked all these years and I said I'd present it.

"It just got to me. Trooper Warr had a dog's life when he came back here."

He and Mr Metcalfe are organising a service at St Peter's Church in Dorchester on October 25, the anniversary of the doomed charge.

It will be followed by a procession to St George's Church at Fordington where a plaque will be erected on a pillar at the churchyard and a small tablet will be placed by Trooper Warr's grave.

Mr Metcalfe, a retired civil engineer, said they were determined to make sure Dorchester marked Trooper Warr's life.

His research revealed that Trooper Warr's horse was injured in the charge and had to be shot.

He also discovered that Trooper Warr lost his Crimean War medal and was presented with a duplicate by the Mayor of Dorchester in 1913.

And he also turned up another interesting snippet about Trooper Warr - he was the first patient to be treated in Dorchester Hospital, possibly for gunpowder poisoning.

Mr Gawler said they hoped to borrow cavalry horses for the procession and members of a Crimean War enactment group were expected to take part in authentic costumes.

He said: "Tom Warr spoke in a very broad Dorset accent and I'm hoping that a friend of mine who can talk in the Dorset dialect will read a piece that Tom wrote."

Mr Metcalfe said he hoped Lord Cardigan, whose ancestor played a part in the Charge of the Light Brigade, would attend.

Thomas Warr was born

at Grove Buildings in Dorchester in August 1830 and died in June 1916 at Dagmar Terrace, now Dagmar Road.

The last survivor of the Charge lived on to 1927 but life was hard for many who came back from the Crimea.

Rudyard Kipling's poem The Last Of The Light Brigade - less well known than Tennyson's famous account of the charge - ends with the line: "And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the Charge of the Light Brigade."

Archive Home
From the archive
http://www.thisisdorset.net
© Newsquest Media Group 2006
Edited to add: Have a happy birthday, Brewmeister. You will keep the noise down, won't you?
 
#14
blue_sophist said:
Henry_Tombs said:
In memory of Thomas Warr who died in Dorchester on the 20th June 1916, one of the last of the Light Brigade.
Henry - Is that you? Have you now switched from accounts to history? From small bore to small bore? :D

"Noisy one, huts next door"
Actually I'm the Full Bore! :oops:
 
#16
Some little time after I got married my wife let on that through the Nolan side of the family, she was distantly related to the much-maligned Capt Edward Nolan.

Of course it was he who took the message from the idiot in command of the Army to the idiot in command of the Division. The combination of idiots together with Nolans outburst of temper condemned the Light Brigad to its glory and tragedy.

Apparently one of her cousins still has his sword but I could not swear to it.

By coincidence the Nolans came from Co Mayo and my lot McM***s also come from Mayo. There you go.

PS I promise not to start any charges.
 
#17
So does Lord Lucan (come from Mayo).

No tragedy at the charge mate - it was just glory. A mistake maybe but superbly executed and an unexpected victory.
 
#18
blue_sophist said:
Bit challenging, that one, if one regards 1066 as being the date when England became French. I think we recovered our equilibrium eventually, so broadly relate to your calumny!
England did not become French: they came over here to become English!
 
#19
Trackpen said:
blue_sophist said:
Bit challenging, that one, if one regards 1066 as being the date when England became French. I think we recovered our equilibrium eventually, so broadly relate to your calumny!
England did not become French: they came over here to become English!
Well, they certainly survived the encounter, and stuck with those traditional Norman customs of wearing proper clothes and living in proper buildings. Personally I have a faint nostalgia for the concept of living in a wattle hut dressed in animal skins, but generally prefer the Norman approach for those more formal occasions. :)
 
#20
The Normans weren't French anyway. They were Scandanavian. They only came to live in France in the latter part of the 10th Century, about 50 years before they invaded Englandshire. Their land was granted to them in France by (appropriately enough) Charles the Simple.
 

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