VINTAGE & RARE BRITISH ARMY CRIMEA WAR MEDAL FOR THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
Offered is an exceptional piece of military history, a British crimea 3 bar medal awarded to a twice wounded 17th Lancers Light Brigade charger at the famous cavalry charge at Balaklava.
1854-56 Crimean War medal, with 3 campaign clasps 'SEBASTOPOL', 'BALAKLAVA' & 'ALMA'. The medal is named in engraved italics 934 THOMAS MAGEE 17 LANCERS. Private Thomas Magee is a confirmed charger, being severely wounded by grapeshot during the charge in both of his legs and being rescued on the field of battle, being partially trapped under his fallen horse. Magee was personally visited by Her Majesty Queen Victoria at Brompton Barracks on the 3rd of March 1855 and was further presented with his medal by Queen Victoria on Horse Guards parade on the 18th of May 1855. As most would be aware, those presented with medals by the Queen refused to have them taken for official naming, rather preferring to have them taken for engraving themselves.
This medal is confirmed and has been inspected by some of the UK's most experienced medal dealers and comes with research papers, roll confirmations and a lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
This is a very rare opportunity to acquire an original Light Brigade 'charger' medal. At a recent Wallis & Wallis Conoisseur's Auction which I was present at last year, a confirmed Killed in Action charger medal to Robert Jackson, also of the 17th lancers, sold for 10,800 GBP, (with commission). Today this would equal $21,000 Australian Dollars, today we kick off at just $8,000.
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. Lord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery, a task well suited to light cavalry. Due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.
Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly-mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.
The events are best remembered as the subject of the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published just six weeks after the event, its lines emphasize the valour of the cavalry in bravely carrying out their orders, regardless of the obvious outcome. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order from Raglan itself was vague.
The Crimea Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1854, for issue to officers and men of British units (land and naval) which fought in the Crimean War of 1854-56 against Russia. The medal is notable for its extremely ornate clasps, being in the form of an oak leaf with an acorn at each extremity, a style never again used on a British medal. The suspension is an ornate floriated swivelling suspender, again unique to the Crimea Medal. Five bars were authourised, the maximum awarded to one man was four. Azoff was only issued to Naval and Marine personnel. The medal was issued without a clasp to those who were present in the Crimea, but not present at any of the qualifying actions.