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88 11th Hussars 1854

Sale price$300.00 NZD

Set 88 represents cavalry from the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars, part of the infamous Light Brigade commanded by Lord Cardigan, made famous by Lord Tennyson in his poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

The Hussars were considered as having the most lavish uniform in the British army, they earned their nickname "Cherry pickers" from their cherry coloured breeches.

Just before midday at the Battle of Balaclava, Lord Raglan, from his elevated position 800 feet up on the hills sensed that Russian artillery teams were preparing to remove the guns of the captured redoubts on the Causeway heights. He ordered his Quartermaster-General Airey to send an order to Lord Lucan, commander of the Cavalry Division, "Lord Raglan wishes the Cavalry to advance rapidly to the front, follow the enemy and try to prevent the enemy carrying away guns. Troop Horse Artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on your left. Immediate."

On being handed this written order by Captain Nolan, Lucan burst out, "Attack sir, attack? what guns?" Nolan not realising the Lucan down in the valley could not see the guns on the heights, gestured towards all the Russian positions including the Don Cossack battery and cavalry formed down valley, saying, "There my Lord is the enemy, there are the guns."

Lucan passed the order to Lord Cardigan, commander of the Light Cavalry Brigade who took his position at the head of the Brigade. As the Brigade broke into a trot, Nolan possibly realising the Brigade was on a death ride down the valley and not towards saving the guns on the heights, veered across Cardigans front to attract his attention and was killed by a Russian shell. Through heavy fire for over a mile and losing men all the way the charge carried on into the Russian battery where they inflicted heavy casualties, and on beyond. Encountering Russian cavalry and suffering from heavy rifle fire the remnants of the Brigade made its way back up the valley.