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pieter1012

Charge of the Light Brigade

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For those interested in the Crimean war of 1854, 25 October,will always be remembered as the day that the charge of the Light Brigade, under command of Lord Cardigan took place. Being today the 25th October, I want to show an old contemporary painting I have of Cardigan leading the charge. Bought this painting many years ago in London from an expert in the study of the Light Brigade, who also taught me a lot about this historical event. It must have been hanging for many years in an officer's mess, because of the cigar smoke that had settled on it. I had it cleaned by a professional antique painting's restorer and looks quite nice now. However, it is difficult to take good pictures without reflection with a simple camera.

I also added for your interest the french Medaille Militaire document, awarded to Sgt. Nunnerly of the 17th Lancers, for bravery during the Charge.

If any other forum member has items related to the Charge of the Light Brigade to show, we may start here a new thread on this topic.

Please enjoy, Pieter

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Edited by pieter1012

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GRA   

Nice painting, Pieter! Nunnerley had left the 17th Lancers by the time the document was issued - he left in 1857 and joined the Lancashire Hussars a couple of years later, becoming Troop Sergeant Major.

Here's a link to Trumpeter Lanfried of the same regiment sounding the charge in a recording from 1890: https://archive.org/details/EDIS-SWDPC-01-04

/Jonas

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Hi Jonas,

thank you for your link to trumpeter Lanfried. You may know there was some controversy among the survivors whether the charge was really sound.

Indeed Nunnerly left the regiment on reduction of the army in 1857 and became station master in Chesire before joining the Lancaster Hussars. His medals are in the 17th Lancers Museum.

Regards, Pieter

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GRA   

I'd like to see the charge of The Light Brigade as an interesting case of leadership (and not!) - "The Four Riders of the Apocalypse" (Raglan, Lucan, Cardigan and Nolan) and their actions are indeed very interesting to study. Let's not forget the far more successful charge of The Heavy Brigade as well as the actions of the 93rd Highlanders. The Turks, who took the brunt of the early fighting are also rarely mentioned.

/Jonas

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Jonas,

While I regret the Turkish forces do not get the recognition they deserve. Recent works tend to redress the balance between the Thin Red Line and the Heavy Brigade and the Light Brigade tending to give the first two much more credit than formerly.

Paul

 

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Perhaps also mention should be made of the French Chasseurs d'Afrique who formed up after the Light Brigade started the charge, and attacked the Russian batteries on the Fedioukine Heights on the noth edge of the valley. They succeeded in capturing the guns, thus greatly reducing the amount of artillery fire at the retreating Light Brigade.

I agree that, largely because of Lord Tenyson's famous poem, the Charge of the Light Brigade has received more prominence and attention in the battle of Balaclava than the actions of the Heavy Brigade and the Thin Red line. On the other hand the charge of the Heavy Brigade was successful, partly thanks to the British horse artillery that at a crucial moment pounded the Russian cavalry with 24-pounder guns.  And the Highlanders of the Thin Red Line were equiped with Pattern1853 Enfield rifles-muskets that had terrible firepower, not realized and under estimated by the Russians. Cardigan had to charge his cavalry, without any infantry support, through a valley straight into a battery of Russian guns, contrary to the practice of war, as Cardigan himself commented.

Pieter

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ColinRF   

In keeping with the theme, here is my original 1/5 portrait of Lt. Alexander Dunn, 11th Hussars and first Canadian born VC winner, in the Oct. 25 charge.

Colin

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Edited by ColinRF

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Hi Colin,

very nice and realistic model of Dunn. Did you make it yourself?

According to Honour the Light Brigade of Lummis, his VC and medals are in his former highschool in Toronto. I wonder if they are still there.

Rgeards, Pieter

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ColinRF   

Thank you Pieter.  Yes I sculpted the bust myself in polymer clay. Painted in acrylics.

Upper Canada College in Toronto is the private boys' school attended by Dunn. They own his VC and a=other awards and his sword as I recall. Currently the awards are on loan to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa and UCC has copies to display.

Regards


Colin

 

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Jerry B   

My period framed print of Lady Butlers painting of the Balaclava, The Return, 25th October 1854, The Charge of the Six Hundred.  Hard to photograph it straight on with the reflection in the glass.

 

 

return from the charge of the light brigade Lady Butler print.jpg

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Dunn was the chap who died in a 'hunting accident' in Abbysinnia.  Make of that what you will.  Lovely work, BTW.  

My personal favourite VC winner is the SECOND Canadian, William Hall.  He worked for Samel Cunard in Halifax, NS,  joined the Andrew in Liverpool, went to Crimea as 'Captain of the Foretop', deserted from a manning hulk in the UK then was part of the HMS Shannon landing party which supported the assault on Hindu Rao's House a the Siege of Delhi.  He and his captain were both recommended for the VC, captain dies, Hall is actually awarded his on board a ship in Simonstown Harbour, SA.  He was BLACK.  Yes, Negro, 30 years before the great debate over whether Black troops in the West India Regiment could qualify and 60 years before the Indian Army won one.  Which must have caused considerable consternation when in London when they found out.  When he retired, after 20 more years working for the Navy as a clerk the UK, he listed his occupation as 'Gentleman Farmer' of King's County, Nova Scotia and his 'hobbies' as 'shooting crows'. :)

Edited by peter monahan

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ColinRF   
3 hours ago, Jerry B said:

My period framed print of Lady Butlers painting of the Balaclava, The Return, 25th October 1854, The Charge of the Six Hundred.  Hard to photograph it straight on with the reflection in the glass.

 

 

return from the charge of the light brigade Lady Butler print.jpg

Beautifully framed print.

 

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