Serjeant, 11th Hussars 1854 (Crimea War)


Sergeant, 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars 1854

The regiment was raised in 1715, as the 17th Dragoons by Brigadier-General Phillip Honeywood and in 1783 became 11th Light Dragoons. In 1840 the regiment was called on to act as escort to Prince Albert on his journey from Dover to London to marry Queen Victoria. As a reward the regiment was given the honour of a new title "11th (or Prince Albert's Own) Hussars. They were the first Light Dragoon regiment to be called "Hussars" without also having "Light Dragoons" retained in their title.
The crimson bag worn with the busby was particular to this regiment, and the white horsehair plume had a crimson base. The busby of that period was much taller and thinner than later variations. The horsehair plume shown on our model would not have been worn in battle. The trousers or overalls worn by the 11th were not the standard blue as worn by other Hussar regiments, but crimson with a double yellow cloth stripe for other ranks.
The tunic had horizontal cord frogging with three vertical rows of buttons, the centre row being full ball buttons and the outer rows, half ball buttons. A gulphic crown surmounted the sergeant's rank insignia. A Hussar sash consisting of vertical rows of yellow woven cotton barrels over crimson worsted cord was worn around the waist, above the white leather sword belt.
It was in the elaborate uniform shown on our model, that Prince Albert's Own Hussars went into battle during the Crimea War. They took part in the famous Charge of the Light Brigade and Lord Cardigan, who led this ill-fated attack, wore the same resplendent attire.
The attack was ordered by Lord Raglan, who from an elevated position could see Russian artillery teams moving forward, and formed the opinion that their purpose was to remove abandoned British guns in the redoubts. He therefore sent this order to Lord Lucan - "Lord Raglan wishes the Cavalry to advance rapidly to the front, follow the enemy and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Troop Horse Artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on your left. Immediate"
On receiving the orders conveyed to him by Captain Nolan, Lord Lucan was unable to see the same scene as witnessed by his superior, and was only able to see those guns attached to the Russian cavalry. Asking Captain Nolan for clarification, he received the impatient response - "There, my Lord, are your guns. There are the enemy" which was accompanied by a vague sweep of Nolan's arm which took in the greater part of the Russian position. Lord Lucan passed on the order to Lord Cardigan who took his place at the head of the Light Brigade and commenced the infamous charge - cavalry against Russian artillery. Captain Nolan, riding with the 17th Lancers, apparently realised that Lord Cardigan, instead of veering to the right and attacking the redoubts, was heading straight down the valley to certain death. He spurred his horse forward to attract Cardigan's attention, but was hit by a Russian bullet, fell from his horse, and was ridden over by the charge.
The 11th Hussars, sustaining huge losses, eventually reached the end of the valley and came face to face with the Russian cavalry. They successfully held them at bay until the Russians were joined by more lancers, when they were forced to turn and retreat.
The Light Brigade comprised of
11th Hussars
8th Hussars;
17th Lancers (see elsewhere in Uniform Museum)
4th Light Dragoons
13th Light Dragoons
RHA (see elsewhere in Uniform Museum)


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