The Balaklava Bugle

Contributed by QRL Museum

The Balaklava Bugle was used to sound the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25th October 1854

Made by Potter's of Aldershot who were makers of musical instruments for the British ArmyThe Balaklava Bugle was used to sound the Charge of the Light brigade on 25th October 1854, during the Crimean War. It was carried by Trumpeter William (Billy) Brittain, 17th Lancers, the Orderly Trumpeter to Lord Cardigan who commanded the Light Brigade. When Lord Cardigan ordered the Light Brigade to advance, it was Billy who first sounded the calls, including the Charge, which were repeated through the ranks (though some men of the Light Brigade disputed it was ever sounded at all). Billy was badly wounded in the last salvo fired by the Don Cossack Battery. His comrades brought him back to the British Lines, still clutching his bugle. He was then taken to Scutari where he was nursed by Florence Nightingale. Lord Cardigan even paid for his comforts, all the while Billy kept his bugle by his side. Billy died of his wounds on the 14th February 1855; his bugle was then passed to his father, who had also served in the 17th Lancers. Reports soon got back to Britain with news of the charge, where the Poet Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson, immortalized the disastrous advance in his poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'. Tennyson was born in Somersby, Lincolnshire.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


View more objects from people in Lincolnshire.

Find out more

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.