October 25th ~ Balaklava

#1
A happy 154th anniversary this coming Saturday. Raise a glass to the noble 600.


1.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


2.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


3.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.


4.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.


5.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


6.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.
 
#2
My ex Wifes Birthday as well on the 25th. I will drink a gallon of Gunfire to dull the memories.

"Go again Sir?" Not fcuking likely show me those guns again.................................
 
#3
And Agincourt ..... but, back to Balaklava, and more Tennyson.


The charge of the gallant three hundred, the Heavy Brigade!

Down the hill, down the hill, thousands of Russians,
Thousands of horsemen, drew to the valley–and stay’d;
For Scarlett and Scarlett’s three hundred were riding by
When the points of the Russian lances arose in the sky;
And he call’d, ‘Left wheel into line!’ and they wheel’d and obey’d.
Then he look’d at the host that had halted he knew not why,
And he turn’d half round, and he bade his trumpeter sound
To the charge, and he rode on ahead, as he waved his blade
To the gallant three hundred whose glory will never die–
‘Follow,’ and up the hill, up the hill, up the hill,
Follow’d the Heavy Brigade.

II.

The trumpet, the gallop, the charge, and the might of the fight!
Thousands of horsemen had gather’d there on the height,
With a wing push’d out to the left and a wing to the right,
And who shall escape if they close? but he dash’d up alone
Thro’ the great gray slope of men,
Sway’d his sabre, and held his own
Like an Englishman there and then.
All in a moment follow’d with force
Three that were next in their fiery course,
Wedged themselves in between horse and horse,
Fought for their lives in the narrow gap they had made–
Four amid thousands! and up the hill, up the hill,
Gallopt the gallant three hundred, the Heavy Brigade.


III.

Fell like a cannon-shot,
Burst like a thunderbolt,
Crash’d like a hurricane,
Broke thro’ the mass from below,
Drove thro’ the midst of the foe,
Plunged up and down, to and fro,
Rode flashing blow upon blow,
Brave Inniskillens and Greys
Whirling their sabres in circles of light!
And some of us, all in amaze,
Who were held for a while from the fight,
And were only standing at gaze,
When the dark-muffled Russian crowd
Folded its wings from the left and the right,
And roll’d them around like a cloud,–
O, mad for the charge and the battle were we,
When our own good redcoats sank from sight,
Like drops of blood in a dark-gray sea,
And we turn’d to each other, whispering, all dismay’d,
‘Lost are the gallant three hundred of Scarlett’s Brigade!’


IV.

‘Lost one and all’ were the words
Mutter’d in our dismay;
But they rode like victors and lords
Thro’ the forest of lances and swords
In the heart of the Russian hordes,
They rode, or they stood at bay–
Struck with the sword-hand and slew,
Down with the bridle-hand drew
The foe from the saddle and threw
Underfoot there in the fray–
Ranged like a storm or stood like a rock
In the wave of a stormy day;
Till suddenly shock upon shock
Stagger’d the mass from without,
Drove it in wild disarray,
For our men gallopt up with a cheer and a shout,
And the foeman surged, and waver’d, and reel’d
Up the hill, up the hill, up the hill, out of the field,
And over the brow and away.


V.

Glory to each and to all, and the charge that they made!
Glory to all the three hundred, and all the Brigade!


Note.–The ‘three hundred’ of the ‘Heavy Brigade’ who made this famous charge were the Scots Greys and the 2d squadron of Inniskillens; the remainder of the ‘Heavy Brigade’ subsequently dashing up to their support.

The ‘three’ were Scarlett’s aide-de-camp, Elliot, and the trumpeter, and Shegog the orderly, who had been close behind him.

 
#4
Visited the battle site last week while on buisness in the Crimea. Pretty thought provoking place, the whole lot Inkerman, Balaklava, Alma and Sevastopol itself. Tried to imagine being a young lad sent half way around the planet on a ship to fight in a place as remote as that.

Did not find any British monuments/war graves etc. Sevastopol was a closed city under the Russkies untill 1992. Definitely worth a visit though.
 
#5
I think it was Cardigan himself that said of Tennyson after seeing that poem :

"....he ought to be court martialed for writing such damned rubbish..."
 
#6
wayner1970 said:
My ex Wifes Birthday as well on the 25th. I will drink a gallon of Gunfire to dull the memories.

"Go again Sir?" Not fcuking likely show me those guns again.................................
Good crowd of ex 11H celebrated Balaclava Day at Telford again.Raised a glass to KRH.
 

Attachments

Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
TheBigUn RAC 29
Ozgerbobble RAC 29
Ozgerbobble Military History and Militaria 13

Similar threads

Top