October 25th ~ Blaklava

Happy Balaclava Day to all descendants of the Light Brigade! Being born on this day the son of an Irish Hussar I felt it was only right to start the day with a mug of "Gunfire". Everything very mellow now!
A happy 156th anniversary today. Raise a glass to the noble 600.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Yes but whilst their noble charge was remembered in poem, it was afterwards as usual they were forgotten by Joe Public.

The Last of the Light Brigade

~Rudyard Kipling
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 knew 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 straighten 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 continued' 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 scorn 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 Shame.

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!


Book Reviewer
The attitude of the gallant six hundred which so aroused Lord Tenneson's admiration arose from the fact that had any of the six hundred had the temerity to ask the "reason why".The would be inquirer would be triced to a triangle and flogged insensible

The advance to barbarism

Captain Godfrey Morgan and Sir Briggs who both survived the Charge


Not just the light brigade though, the heavy was there as well.
Happy Balaklava Day to all C Battery RHA wherever you may be!

The Troop, as it was then, supported both the Heavy and Light Bde, and the 93rd Foot on that day...
To all those Regt's that celebrate Balaklava, have a great day!! From an old "A" mech who spent many a happy day with the Cav.

I've glaised several rasses today.
Ex 11th.
Still 11th!!!
British Regiments who proudly fly their colours with the battle honour Balaclava

4th Dragoon Guards: now the Royal Dragoon Guards.
5th Dragoon Guards: now the Royal Dragoon Guards.
1st Royal Dragoons: now the Blues and Royals.
Royal Scots Greys: now the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
6th Inniskilling Dragoons: now the Royal Dragoon Guards.
4th Light Dragoons: now the Queen’s Royal Hussars.
8th Hussars: now the Queen’s Royal Hussars.
11th Hussars: now the King’s Royal Husars.
13th Light Dragoons: now the Light Dragoons.
17th Lancers: now the Queen’s Royal Lancers.
93rd Highlanders: now the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.* By defeating 4 squadrons of Russian Cav the town was held.*
Meant to do this yesterday,for Cherrypickers everywhere.


Lord Cardigan is reported to have said that Tennyson "....ought to be court martialled for writing such damned rubbish!!..."
With an ancestor in the 4th Dragoon Guards (Irish, of course) I must stick up for the Charge of the Heavy Brigade. It would appear to have had more tactical impact on the battle than the Light's brave but misdirected input. However, nobody wrote a poem about it. Agincourt and Balaklava in one day (and it's my wedding anniversary today as well). Pass that bottle of "Bush."
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