Crimean War FAQ

When did the Crimean War take place?
1853-1856. British and French involvement dates from 28th March, 1854, and the formal treaty of peace came into effect 1st April, 1856, hence you will sometimes see the war referred to as "the Crimean War of 1854-56".

Where was the Crimean War fought?
In the Crimea, Asia Minor, the Baltic, the White Sea and on Russia's Pacific coast.

What were the main battles of the Crimean War?
Alma - 20th September, 1854; Balaklava - 25th October, 1854; Inkerman(n) - 5th November, 1854; Siege of Sebastopol (more correctly, "Sevastopol") - 25th September, 1854 to 8th September, 1855; Battle of Eupatoria, 17th February, 1855; the Siege of Kars, June to 28th November, 1855; Battle of the Tchernaya (aka "Chernaya"; "Traktir Bridge") - 25th August, 1855.

Who were the belligerents in the Crimean War?
Russia, Turkey, Great Britain, France, Piedmont-Sardinia.

Which British Army regiments served in the Crimean War?
This list shows the current designations of the regiments, with abbreviated 1856 designations in brackets. The following abbreviations have been used: D=Dragoons; DG=Dragoon Guards; L=Lancers; H=Hussars; SFG=Scots Fusilier Guards; F=Foot; RB=Rifle Brigade. The Divisional organisation is correct as at 1st April, 1856. All Divisions also had Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Royal Sappers and Miners attached. Three Crimean regiments have not been perpetuated in the modern British Army; these are shown in square brackets.

Cavalry Division

First Division

Second Division

Third Division

Fourth Division

Highland Division

Light Division

Did X win the Victoria Cross (VC) in the Crimean War?
See the Victoria Cross website at http://www.chapter-one.com/vc/index.html

Did X win the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) in the Crimean War?
See "Recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1855-1909" by P. E. Abbott.

Did X win the French Légion d'Honneur in the Crimean War?
For British recipients, see the "London Gazette", issues of 4th August, 1856 and 1st May, 1857. A list of those whose names appeared in the former was published in "Chambers' Pictorial History of the Russian War", anon. [George Dodd], London and Edinburgh, 1856. Surviving citations for 4th Division recipients can be found in "La Légion d'Honneur" (Second Edition) by Michael Hargreave Mawson, privately published, 2000. For French recipients, see Base Léonore at http://www.culture.fr/documentation/docum.htm

Did X win the French Médaille Militaire in the Crimean War?
A complete list of British recipients, together with citations for the award, was published in "Medals of the British Army" by Thomas Carter, London, 1861, and most recently reprinted (without citations) in "British Battles and Medals" by Joslin, Lithland and Simpkin, London, 1988.

Did X win the Turkish Order of the Mejedie (aka Medjidie, Mejidieh etc) in the Crimean War?
See the "London Gazette", 2nd March, 1858.

Did X win the Sardinian Al Valore Militare in the Crimean War?
A complete list of British recipients, together with citations for the award, was published in "Medals of the British Army" by Thomas Carter, London, 1861, and most recently reprinted (without citations) in "British Battles and Medals" by Joslin, Lithland and Simpkin, London, 1988.

How can I find out if X was awarded the Crimea Medal?
The Medal Rolls are held on microfilm at the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, under reference WO100 (Army) and ADM171 (Royal Navy and Royal Marines). You will need to know X's regiment or ship before being able to search for his name. The rolls of some regiments have been published, and a project is under weigh to compile a comprehensive roll.

How can I find out if X was awarded the Turkish Crimea Medal?
Few medal rolls for this award have survived. If X was an officer who was entitled to the Crimea Medal, and survived until 1858, the award of the Turkish Crimea Medal will be mentioned in Hart's Army Lists from about 1859. If X was not an officer, and survived until 1858, you may conclude that he probably received the Turkish Crimea Medal. If X did not survive until 1858, the odds are that the medal was never awarded.

How can I find out if X served in the Army in the Crimean War?
Unless he was an officer, you will need to know his regiment before confirming Crimean service. If this information is available, then you can check to see whether Discharge Papers exist at the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, in class WO97. These records were created on a soldier's discharge to pension, and therefore do not cover every individual who served in the Crimea. If you know that X died in service, or if WO97 papers are not found, you can check the Medal Rolls (also at the PRO) in class WO100. The medal rolls will confirm that he saw active service in the Crimea. For fuller details, you can check the Muster Rolls and Pay Lists in WO12. For officers, the simplest way of answering the question is to look them up by name in the indexes of the appropriate Hart's Army Lists. Their entries (from the 1855 edition onwards) contain details of services.

How can I find out if X served in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War?
There is no definitive list of those who served in the Charge. The most credible published source is "Honour the Light Brigade" by Lummis and Wynn, published by Hayward's in 1973.

My g-g-grandmother was a nurse with Florence Nightingale, how do I find out more?
The Nurses Register for the Crimean period is held at the Florence Nightingale Museum, St Thomas's Hospital, London.

What are some good books to read as an introduction to the Crimean War?

What are some good books regarding badges and uniforms of the Crimean War?

What are some good books regarding the small arms of the Crimean War?

What are some good books regarding the ordnance of the Crimean War?


The Society regrets that it does not offer an information service to members of the public; members' queries are, however, published in the War Correspondent.