The James Boys Archive

8th Hussars in the Crimea

Landing on the 16th September, their valises were left on board, never to be seen again. Only three days provisions, a shirt, a pair of socks and a towel wrapped in a blanket, were taken. Dysentery and diarrhoea were already rife amongst them and by the time they dis-embarked in the Crimea 93 men out of their original number were already non-effective or dead.

Near the Bulganak river the regiment came under fire for the first time, losing one horse killed and two wounded. On the 20th of September the whole army closed in on the river Alma, the cavalry being in open column on the left. Apart from skirmishing with opposing Russian cavalry the 8th took but little part in the battle and suffered no casualties.

On the 28th September, following a report that Russian troops were out in front (outside of Balaclava town) the troop of the 8th which made up Lord Raglan's escort (under Captain Chetwode) was thrown out in skirmishing order, the Horse Artillery then coming up and opening fire, causing the Russians to abandon all their wagons and flee from the scene. Some seventy wagons and carts were captured, some only containing small arms ammunition, which was useless, being destroyed. The rest of the wagons contained black bread for the troops, again of little value. The troops were allowed to pillage such of the wagons as did not contain anything of value to the Commissariat. Consequently in a few minutes the ground was strewed with clothes of all descriptions - Hussar uniforms, fur cloaks, wigs, and French novels of a highly improper nature. The carriages were said to belong to the suite of Count Manschikoff.

From then on to the 25th of October the regiment furnished patrols and outpost duties, being billeted close to the most beautiful gardens and vineyards full of the ripest and luscious grapes on which all ranks made a raid. There was also plenty of water, corn, hay and fuel.

8th Hussars index