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.

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Location
Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
25cm
W:
12.5cm
D:
5cm
Colour
Material

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