Three Crimean Episodes
At the storming of the Redan a privai c soldier of the Coldstream Guards, named Berry, was anxious to be chosen as a volunteer for the forlorn hope. He was not selected, however, but he was deter~ mined to be there, for he took hia rifle .and a)l his comrades' cartridges he could find and secretly joined the band of devoted men who were waiting m the ; trenches, with muskets m one hand and scaling ladders m the other, under the command of Captain (afterwards General) Wyndham, for the pre-concerted signal. When it came at last and the rush was made upon the fort, Wyndham was first |. into the Redan, and he was considerably astonished to find that the next man immediately behind him was a private of his own regiment—and, moreover, the very man whose application to serve aa a volunteer had been refused. The gallant officer soon had cause to rejoice that Berry was present, for the latter laid about him to such an extent as to save more than once or twice, his commander's life. After thefightthebraveOoldstreamer was tried by court-martial for disobedience of orders, but, under the circumstances of the case, he was considered by the court to deserve an honourable acquittal. No cross or other distinction was ever awarded him for his bravery m the Redan. Many brave acts were done at Inkerman which have never been recorded m any gazette or received any special recognition. In the dim light of that foggy November morning, deeds were done that were never surpassed even by the Romans of old—the Coldstream Guards themselves (mustering only four hundred strong, with sixteen officers) emulating the fame of Horatius by holding a two gun battery (minus the gun), the key of the English position, without assistance, for several hours against the whole Russian army, some seventy thousand strong, Every man of the little band— and every boy, too, for there were drum-, mer-boys under sixteen years of age present —was a hero m the truest sense of the word. The officers were cut down nearly to a man, only three out of the sixteen being enabled to leave the field without being carried from it. In one case—that of Captain Ramsden, who was well-beloved by the men of his company—several men formed a rampart around him when he was suddenly surrounded and attacked by. a whole horde of the enemy. Many of them fell dead at his.feec, and amongst' those who were severely wounded was a little drummer-boy, who, with the rather toy-looking sword which had often decorated his person at the guard mountings at St. James's Palace, had defended his captain with such energy that his sword was found broken at his side. Unfortunately, however, the bravery thus exhibited by these heroes did not save their; captain from being struck down and bayoneted. A bugler, Alexander Price, having, when the atnunition began to fail, been ordered to sound the ' Cease firing !' obeyed the order, and while doing so observed a Russian soldier presenting his loaded musket within a few inches of the head of the .sergeant-major. Without waiting to finish the bugle call, he took the instrument from his mouth and dashed it right m the teeth of the Russian m question, who pulled the trigger at the same moment but missed his aim. Tho bugler, later on, was severely wounded^ but eventually recovered, and lived for many years afterwards with a ball m his left side, which at the time of his death had worked down to his thigh, and from which, had he lived a little longer, it would no doubt have been extracted, ;
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Three Crimean Episodes, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2500, 25 August 1890
Three Crimean Episodes Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2500, 25 August 1890
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