The Crimea
John Vernon Seddall
Encampment of the 33rd Regiment (The Duke of Wellington's) on the Plain before Sebastopol 1854-55.

Seddall volunteered 13 October 1854, as assist surgeon for the 33rd Foot and served in the Crimea at the seige and fall of Sebastopol including the assault on the Redan of 8 Sept 1855.  He was awarded the Crimea medal with Sebatopol clasp and Turkish Crimea Medal.

An Officer's Firsthand Account  of the Battle of Redan

Well, to the front trench I went with my men; it was about 200 yards from the Redan.  I had not been there long when an officer came up and wanted one officer, one sergeant, and thirty men, to go to the front as scouts or sentries.  I told him my strength; I had no officer.  He at once went and got sufficient men from the 31st Regiment, then came back and had a long chat with me until it got quite dark, which is what we were waiting for.

He found out that I well knew the ground and was no stranger to the work.  I requested that the men we were going to take should be all picked men, and not lads, as it was rather an important piece of business -- we had to creep on hands and knees nearly up to the Redan, and it required men with all their wits about them -- so a number of the men were changed.

We crept over the top of the trench in the dark and cautiously advanced about 80 yards, then commenced throwing or planting sentinels at about five or six yards apart.  We had done the job, the officer lay down beside me and gave me further orders, and then crept back to the trench, leaving me in command.  My orders were not to attempt to hold my ground should the enemy attack me, but to retire and give the alarm.

After lying for some time we were attacked by an overwhelming force and retired.  The enemy tried to cut us off, but they found this was no easy matter; it is well I had picked men with me, or all would have been taken prisoners or killed on the spot.  But during our absence from the trench it had been filled with men of various regiments; and, not knowing that there was anyone in front but the enemy, they opened a regular file fire, and we were in a pretty mess between two fires.  Our poor fellows dropped fast -- some of them were shot dead, close to the trench, by our own people.  We called as loudly as possible to cease firing, but with the noise they could not hear us.

On collecting my party afterwards in the trench, I had to take all their names, as most of them were strangers to me, and found that we had lost nineteen men and two corporals, out of thirty.  Yet it lasted only two or three minutes.

The general officer enquired what regiment I belonged to and, when I had told him, he expressed surprise -- told me I had no business there, but ought to be in camp and at rest, as there was some sharp work cut out for the Fusiliers in the morning.  That was the very first hint I got of the storming of the town.  The General directed me to go with an officer and another party, as I knew the ground, and show the officer where to place his men.  I went again, posted all the sentries, and then returned to the trench, in doing which I stumbled across a poor fellow lying wounded, and brought him in the best way I could.

The men in the trench were this time told that there was a party in front.  Had that been done before, the greater portion of my men would not have died, as they were nearly all shot by our own people; these are some of the 'blunders' of war.

On returning to the trench the second time, I reported to the General, and he directed me to take my party home to camp at once.  I reached camp about 1.30 a.m. and found that, true enough, there was a warm job cut out for us.  We had led the way repeatedly -- at the Alma, at the Quarries, and at the Redan on the murderous 18th June -- and now we were told off to support the stormers, moving immediately behind them.

I knew well that thousands must die -- and a still, small voice told me that I should fall.  I know I tried to pray, begged the Lord to forgive my sins for His great name's sake, and asked for His protecting arm around me, and strength of mind and body to do my duty to my Queen and Country.

The above from :

33rd Foot (Duke of Wellington's Regiment) Casualties


Valentine Bennett

killed in the attack on the Redan - 18th June 1855.
First Brigade, Light Division cemetery - 'Sacred to the memory of Valentine Bennett Lieut. 33d The Duke of Wellington's Regt. who was killed in the attack on Sebastopol on the 18th June 1855. Aged 27 years. erected by his brother Frederic Philip Bennett and Officers of the 33d The Duke of Wellington's Regiment.'

H.G. Donovan
killed in the attack on the Redan - 8th September 1855
T. Gough
died of wounds - 18th September 1855
Langford R. Heyland
killed in the attack on the Redan - 18th June 1855
First Brigade, Light Division cemetery.
'Sacred to the memory of Langford R. Heyland 33d Regt. who fell in the assault on the Redan on the 18th June 1855.'
Hans Stephenson St. Vincent Marsh

killed at Sebastopol - 24th June 1855.
First Brigade, Light Division cemetery - 'Sacred to the memory of Hans Stephenson St. Vincent Marsh Lieut. and Adjutant of the 33d Duke of Wellington's Regt. who was killed in the trenches on the 24th June 1855.  Aged 21 years.'

F. Du Pre Montagu
killed in action - battle of Alma - 20th September 1854

The above is from

A Firsthand Account from Serjeant Timothy Gowing, Royal Fusiliers

We fell in at 9 a.m. A dram of rum was issued to each man as he stood in the ranks; all hands had previously been served out with two days' rations.  There were in our ranks a great number of very young men, who had not much idea of the terrible work that lay before them; but there were others who knew only too well, having had near twelve months' hard wrestling with the foe -- and no mean foe either.  We were about to face the enemy in deadly conflict once more.  The defence of Sevastopol had raised the Russians in the estimation of the bravest of the brave, and their Sovereign and country had no reason to regret entrusting that defence to their hands.

Sevastopol had, for the first time in military history since powder had been invented, defied the united fire of some 900 guns of the largest calibre, exclusive of mortars, which had been directed on the devoted city from early morning of the 5th September.  When the final bombardment opened the very earth trembled beneath the terrible crash. It was grand, but awful.

But after it the enemy's batteries looked as strong as ever; we might, apparently, have gone on bombarding until now.  The Redan and Malakoff appeared to be much stronger than when we first looked at them, although no fewer than 1,600,000 shot and shell had been hurled at them. I say again, the Russian nation might well be proud of the manner their army had defended that fortress.

Map of Sevastopol.
Copyright Dr. Christopher Hibbert.


At last cold steel had to do what artillery had been baffled at.  Large breaches have invariably been made by artillery fire in the enemy's fortifications before ever the 'dogs of war' were let loose at them; but no breach was made in the fortifications of Sevastopol.

After remaining for a short time under arms, we marched off about 9.30 a.m.  There was no pomp or martial music, no boasting; but all in that mighty throng moved with solemn tread to the places that had been assigned them.  The older hands were very quiet but they had that set look of determination about them that speaks volumes.

The bombardment was still raging on that terrible 8th September; every gun and mortar that our people and our noble allies the French could bring to bear upon the enemy's works was raining death and destruction upon them.  The stormers had all got into their places; they consisted of about 1,000 men of the old Light and Second Division.  The supports were formed up as closely as possible to them, and all appeared in readiness.  History may well say the storming of a fortress is an awful task!  There we stood, not a word being spoken.  Everyone seemed to be full of thought.  Many a courageous heart destined to be still in death in one short hour was now beating high.

It was about 11.15 a.m., and our heavy guns were firing in such a way as I had never before heard.  The batteries fired in volleys or salvoes as hard as they could load and fire, the balls passing a few feet above our heads, while the air seemed full of shell.  The enemy were not idle, for round shot, shell, grape, and musket balls, were bounding and whizzing all about us, and earth and stones were rattling about our heads like hail.

Our poor fellows fell fast, but still our sailors and artillerymen stuck to it manfully.  We knew well that this could not last long; but many a poor fellow's career was cut short long before we advanced to the attack.  A number of the older hands -- both officers and men -- were smoking and taking not the slightest notice of the 'dance of death'.  Some men were being carried past dead, and others limping to the rear with mangled limbs while their life's blood was streaming fast away.

We looked at each other with amazement, for we were now (about 11.30 a.m.) under such a fire as was without parallel; even Leipzig (where the allies alone had 1,400 field guns, and the French 1,000) was eclipsed: upwards of 100,000 dead and wounded lay upon that field, but then the contest had lasted three days and nights.

The people at home were complaining because we did not take Sevastopol; a number of visitors -- ladies and gentlemen from England -- now saw that we were trying to do our duty!  The appalling and incessant roar of the thunderbolts of war was deafening, and our enemies were bidding us defiance, or, in other words, inviting us to the combat; and I have not the slightest hesitation in saying that some of our visitors, who came out to find fault, or 'pick holes in our coats', were horrified and wished they had stayed at home.  It was a warm reception for a number of lads that had just joined us; it really seemed a pity to send them out to meet such a fire.

As the hour of 12 drew near, all hands were on the alert; we knew well it was death for many of us.  Several who had gone through the whole campaign shook hands, saying, 'This is hot! Good-bye, old boy!'

'Write to the old folks at home if I do not return', was the request made by many.

About fifteen minutes before 12 a number of our guns were brought to bear upon the chevaux de frise, and sent it into a thousand pieces, so that it should not stop us, as it had done on the 18th June.  Many of us cherished doubts as to the result, although we dared not express them.  Our numbers looked very small to attack such a place as the Redan, and the greater portion of the attacking and supporting columns too young and inexperienced for such a fiery ordeal.  But, as one old hand said, 'We can only die!'

It seemed utterly impossible that any could escape, and we had a great number of very young men with us who had come out with drafts to fill up the gaps.  Many of them had not seen seventeen summers; plenty of them had not had two months' service.  We wanted 20,000 tried veterans; but, through some mismanagement, they were kept back.

Nothing is more trying than to have to stand under a dropping fire of shell and not be able to return a shot.  The enemy had the range of our trenches to a nicety and could drop their shells into them just as they liked.  We lost a number of men, before we advanced to the attack, by this vertical fire. B ut the grand struggle was now close at hand, when the Muscovites' greatest stronghold was to be torn from their grasp.

I was close to one of our generals, who stood watch in hand (the generals' watches had been timed alike), when suddenly, at 12 o'clock, the French drums and bugles sounded the charge, and with a shout of Vive I'Empereur! repeated over and over again by some 50,000 men -- a shout that was enough to strike terror into the enemy -- the French sprang, forward, headed by the Zouaves, at the Malakoff like a lot of cats.  On they went like a swarm of bees, or, rather, like the dashing of the waves of the sea against a rock.

We, in our advanced works, had a splendid view.  It was grand, but terrible.  The deafening shouts of the advancing hosts told us they were carrying all before them.  They were now completely enveloped in smoke and fire, but column after column kept advancing, pouring volley after volley into the breasts of the defenders.  They (the French) meant to have it, let the butcher's bill be what it might!

At about a quarter-past 12, up went the proud flag of France, with a shout that drowned for a time the roar of both cannon and musketry.

And now came our turn.  We had waited for months for it, and at times almost longed for it; but it was a trying hour.  As soon as the French flag was seen upon the Malakoff, our stormers sprang forward, led by Colonel Windham, the old Light Division leading -- 300 men of the 90th, about the same number of the 97th, and about 400 of the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade and with various detachments of the Second and Light Division, and a number of bluejackets carrying scaling ladders.  It was a Norfolk man that led us to the finishing stroke (Windham), and right well he did it -- it was, 'Come on, boys, and I will show you the way!'

Our men advanced splendidly with a ringing British cheer, although the enemy poured a terrible fire of grape, canister, and musketry into them, which swept down whole companies at a time.  We, the supports, moved forward to back up our comrades, but anyone with half an eye could see that we had not the same cool, resolute men as at Alma and Inkerman, though some of the older hands were determined to make the best of a bad job.  I am happy to record that the old Inkerman men took it very coolly; some of them lit their pipes -- I did the same.

A brave young officer of ours, a Mr. Colt, told me he would give all he was worth to be able to take it as comfortably as some of our people did -- it was his first time under fire.  He was as pale as death and shaking from head to foot, yet he bravely faced the foe.  The poor boy (for he was not much more) requested me not to leave him; he fell dead by my side, just outside the Redan.

Our people were now at it in front.  We advanced as quickly as we could until we came to the foremost trench, when we leaped the parapet, then made a rush at the bloodstained walls of the Redan -- we had a clear run of 200 yards under a murderous fire of grape, canister, and musketry.

How ever anyone lived to pass that 200 yards seemed a miracle.  Our poor fellows fell one on the top of the other; but nothing but death could stop us.  The musket balls whistled past us more like hail than anything else I can describe, and the grape-shot cut our poor fellows to pieces; for we had a front and two cross-fires to meet.  It seemed to me that we were rushing into the very jaws of death, but I, for one, reached the Redan without a scratch.

While standing on the brink of the ditch, I considered for a moment how best to get into it, for it appeared to be about twenty feet deep, with no end of our poor fellows at the bottom, dead and dying, with their bayonets sticking up.  But the mystery solved itself -- our men came rushing on with a cheer, and in we went, neck or nothing, scrambled up the other side the best way we could, and into the redoubt we went with a shout truly English.

The fighting inside the works was desperate -- butt and bayonet, foot and fist.  The enemy's guns were at once spiked.  Some of the older hands did their best to get together sufficient men for one charge at the enemy, for we had often proved that they were no lovers of cold steel; but our poor fellows melted away almost as fast as they scaled those bloody parapets, from a cross-fire the enemy brought to bear upon us from the rear of that work.  The moss of that field grew red with British blood; after our stormers had entered the Redan the enemy came at us in swarms, but were kept back by the bayonet.

The struggle at the Redan lasted about an hour and a half.  The mistake that our generals made was in not sending sufficient men.  Twenty thousand men ought to have been let loose, we should not then have lost anything like the number we did, as very many officers and men were killed when retiring -- but we had handled the enemy so roughly that they did not further attempt to molest us.

The French officers and men were in ecstasies of admiration at the doings of our people at the Redan and exclaimed, 'English, you have covered yourselves with glory this day!'  And now I fearlessly assert that the handful of men who undertook that bloodstained work earned a rich wreath of laurels that day.  We were but a handful when compared with the vast hordes of the enemy, but -- with all their strength -- they hesitated about coming to close quarters.  Had we had even ten thousand men with us, the Russians would have gone into the harbour at the point of the bayonet, or else been made to lay down their arms.  But no; men were sent up in driblets, to be slaughtered in detail!

The few hundreds who did enter that bloodstained fortification fought with butt-end and bayonet, and not many returned without securing some token in the shape of wounds more or less severe.  Still, the few who did meet the enemy taught them to respect us, for they no more dared to follow us than they would a troop of lions.

We had not been beaten though we were crushed by crossfires and heavy masses of men -- yet all the time our trenches were crowded with men eager to be let loose at the enemy!  We had a Wolseley with us, it is true, but he was only in a subordinate position.  We wanted such a man as he -- or Sir Colin Campbell, or a Roberts -- and we should have carried all before us.  Then, in all probability, we should have had a star, but not without some hard work for it.  As it was, we got no star, though we had for twelve long, dreary months to be continually fighting.

The night of the 8th September, 1855, is one long to be remembered.  Our camp was startled by a series of terrible explosions, and we could not make out what was up; but at length discovered that the enemy were retiring under cover of the blowing up of their vast forts and magazines.

Oh, what a night! It baffles all description.  Many of our poor fellows were then lying on the ground, having been wounded in all sorts of ways, with the burning fortress all around them.  The Redan was blown up, and a number of our men went up with it, or were buried alive.  Imagine the position of the wounded lying just outside the Redan!  The renowned 'Redan Massey' was there weltering in his blood, together with a number of others, while hundreds of tons of powder was exploding within 300 yards of them!

Those of the wounded who managed to reach the camp were well looked after; our doctors worked incessantly -- they threw their whole heart and soul into it -- and all appeared to do their best.  Men were continually being brought home to camp with every description of wounds.

I myself was carried thither, having received five wounds in different parts of the body, my left hand shattered, and two nasty wounds in the head.  I was totally unconscious when taken out of the Redan, and for some hours afterwards.  An Irishman named Welsh was instrumental in saving my life.  He had noticed me fall, and when he found that he had to retire from the Redan, he carried me up to the ditch and let me slip in, and then, with assistance, got me out of it and carried me across that terrible 200 yards, being shot through both legs in doing so.  Before he reached our leading trench, some other good Samaritan picked me up and ran away with me.

At about 6 p.m. I found myself in our front trench, with a dead 33rd man lying across me.  I got him off the best way I could and then tried to get up, but found that I could not stand for I had almost bled to death.  Dr. Hale, V.C., did all he could for me; I then had to remain and take my chance or turn of being carried to camp, where I arrived about 7.30 p.m., when my wounds were dressed and a good cup of beef tea revived me.

Camp before the Ruins of Sevastopol,
September 14th, 1855

My Dear, Dear Parents,

Thank God I have been saved alive through the grand but bloody struggle.  You will see this is not my writing.  I may as well tell you that they have hit me again.  You will, most likely, see my name in the papers as badly wounded, but you must not despair; I am at present very comfortable in hospital, with one of my comrades to look after me, who now writes this from my dictation.

I must tell you they hit me on the head, in two places, and knocked my right hand about rather badly, but I live in hopes of getting over this and will warm them for it if ever I get a chance.  Well, to my story.  To start with, I am happy to inform you that the town is taken at last, but it has been -- as I always said it would be -- a hard nut to crack.  I told you in my last that I did not think we should be long before we were let loose at it.  Everything was kept very quiet; the last, our grand, bombardment opened on the morning of the 5th, and the roaring of the heavy guns was something deafening.

I went into the trenches on the night of the 6th, had a bit of rough work on the night of the 7th.  It was then that I began to smell a rat that something was in the wind, I did not find out what was before me until I reached the camp about 1 a.m. on the terrible 8th.  I cannot now describe that awful day's work which ended in a glorious victory.

I find our loss and that of the French has been frightful; it is reported that our united loss has been upwards of 12,000 killed, wounded, and missing.  I do hope that this will be the last item in the butcher's bill.  If we are to have any more fighting let's go at them in the open field and then, if our numbers are anywhere near theirs, we will soon let them know who will take possession -- they fight well behind earthworks but they want a lot of Dutch courage into them to make them show up in the open field.  I hope you will be contented with what I have said.  I must not do any more today; I must keep quiet.

Well, I've had a few hours' rest and feel that I should like to bring this letter to a close and will, if I am spared, give you a long account of that terrible fight that laid Sevastopol at our feet, and I am proud to say that a great number of Norfolk and Suffolk men have helped to plant our glorious old flag on the bloodstained walls of that far-famed town, Sevastopol.  The fighting, dear Parents, in the interior of the Redan was desperate.  When I come to recall it, it seems almost too much for me.  I cannot express my gratitude to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who shielded my life -- I hope for some good purpose -- on those bloody parapets when my poor comrades fell like autumn leaves all around, to rise no more.  It seemed utterly impossible that any could escape.

I will write again as soon as I get a little more strength -- so cheer up, dear Parents!  Tell Tom he had better eat some more beef and dumplings before ever he thinks of soldiering; one in the family is quite enough to be shot at, at a time!  Tell poor mother to cheer up -- I will come home to Norwich some day and give her as warm a greeting as the Frenchmen gave me at Malta.  I must now conclude.  Give my kind regards to all enquiring friends and believe me, dear Parents,

Your affectionate son,
T. GOWING, Sergeant, Royal Fusiliers

P.S. -- What a lot of nonsense they put in the papers -- it's only filling up stuff or, in plain language, boast.  Men had far better not write at all if they cannot confine themselves to the truth, for they only get laughed at as the papers are read in the camp. -- Yours &c. T.G.

I had to remain for upwards of three months; but with careful attendance and a good strong constitution, I was, by that time, ready for them again.  As I did not return to camp after the action, the comrade to whom I entrusted the letter added this postscript:

PS -- Dear Sir, I am truly sorry to have to conclude this kind letter: your noble son fell inside the Redan (Sevastopol is taken).  Your son, from the day he joined the regiment, proved himself a credit to us, and a most determined soldier.  I have every reason to believe that he is now where you would not wish to have him back from; a nobler death could not have been met with than that in the hour of victory.  I know, dear Sir, it is hard for you to lose such a noble boy, but I hope the Lord will give you strength to bear up under this trying blow.  I am, dear Sir,

Yours faithfully,
J. Holmes, Sergeant, Royal Fusiliers

I was brought into camp in time to prevent the foregoing being dispatched, and after my recovery added the following:

Camp before Ruins of Sevastopol,
March, 1856

My Dear Parents,

You see that I have, thank God, been spared to see what they had to say about me after I was supposed to be dead.  It is true that I fell inside the Redan and was totally unconscious for some time, but, thank God, though wounded heavily, am still where mercy is to be shown.

I was carried home to camp and to the hospital just in time to save the above being posted, but I will keep it as long as I live, and if I live to come home will bring it with me, for truly I have had a merciful God watching over me and am spared, I hope, for some good purpose, for this wonderful God of ours can see from the beginning to the end; He is the same unchanging God that the Patriarchs trusted in.

There is talk of peace, and those who want to continue the war will, I hope, come out and show us the way, as General Windham did on the 8th September last -- they would most likely soon give in.  I am not one of those who would have peace at any price, but if I am allowed to express my opinion, I think our ends have been gained.  The Russians have been considerably humbled.  We have beaten them four times in four pitched battles, have rent one of the strongest fortresses in the world from them, and I think they have had enough of France and England.

If I am spared to come home, I will bring this with me, as its contents might be too much for my poor mother to bear.

From your rough but affectionate son,
T. GOWING, Sergeant, Royal Fusiliers

Our loss had been very heavy, but that of our noble allies was fearful on that terrible 8th September.  They acknowledged: killed: 5 generals, 24 field officers, 124 subalterns of various ranks, 2,898 non -- commissioned officers and men; wounded: 10 generals, 26 field officers (8 missing), 229 subaltern officers, 4,289 non-commissioned officers and men, and upwards of 1,000 missing; the total (or the finishing stroke of the butcher's bill) was, as regards the French, 8,613.

Our loss was: killed: officers, 29 (1 missing), non-commissioned officers 42 (12 missing), privates 361 (168 missing), wounded: officers, 144,, non-commissioned officers 154, privates 1,918.  A number of the missing were afterwards found to have been killed.  Total (killed, wounded, and missing) 2,839; our loss -- for the numbers engaged -- was far greater than that of our allies.

The enemy's loss was something awful.  They acknowledged a loss, from the 5th to the 8th September inclusive, of upwards of 25,000 officers, non-commissioned officers, and men.  Thus the final effort for the capture of this town cost, in round numbers, between 55,000 and 40,000 men.  Such are some of the so-called 'glories' (but I would rather say 'horrors') of war!

The extent of the spoil captured by the allies was almost incredible, notwithstanding all that the Russians had expended or destroyed.  The cannon of various sizes numbered 3,840, 128 of which were of brass; a great number had been thrown into the harbour to avoid their being taken.  Round shot, 407,314; shell, 101,755; canister cases, 24,080; gunpowder, 525,000 lb.; ball cartridges, 670,000 rounds; and other articles too numerous to mention.  The spoil was equally divided between our people and our gallant allies.

The vast resources of the British Empire had been largely drawn upon before haughty Russia could be humbled.  The forces employed -- the greater portion of which were carried there and back by the fleets of Old England -- were: 210,000 French, 105,000 British, 40,000 Turks, 15,000 Piedmontese, with 1,500 guns and over 80,000 horses, to say nothing of the enormous quantity of war material and food required for that great host.  This force had been confronted by far more than an equal number of Russians.

Four great battles had been fought and won by the allies, followed by an arduous and unparalleled siege of eleven months' duration, terminating in a glorious victory and the total destruction of 118 ships of war, the capture of a fortress defended by 6,000 pieces of cannon, and the final defeat of an army of 150,000 men which defended it.  Old England may well be proud of her Army and her Navy!

The horrors inside the town, where the enemy had established their hospitals, baffle all description.  Some of our non-commissioned officers and men went into those places and described the scenes as heart-rending and revolting in the extreme.

Many of the buildings were full of dead and dying mutilated bodies, without anyone to give them even a drink of water.  Poor fellows, they had well defended their country's cause and were now left to die in agony, unattended, uncared for, packed as closely as they could be stowed away, saturated with blood, and with the crash of the exploding forts all around them.  They had served the Tsar but too well; there they lay, in a state of nudity, literally rolling in their blood.  Many, when our men found them, were past all aid; others were out of their mind, driven mad by pain and the appalling sights in the midst of which they were.

Our officers and men, both French and English, found their way there indiscriminately, and at once set to work to relieve them.  Medical aid was brought as quickly as possible to them, but hundreds had passed beyond all earthly assistance.

Such a Sunday!  Our men were struck with wonderment and horror at the awful scenes.  Though a soldier, and fully embued with the spirit of patriotism, I would say with all my heart, 'From war good Lord deliver us!'  The man who delights in war is a madman -- I would put him in the thick of it for just one day, and he would then know a little what war to the knife means!

Our men did everything they could for those of the enemy in whom a spark of life was found.  Yes, the very men who only a few hours before had done all they could to destroy life were now to be found, in their right minds, doing all that lay in their power for their unfortunate foes, as well as friends.

A soldier -- it matters not what his rank -- must not for one moment, when engaged, think what the consequences are or may be.  It is his duty to destroy all he can belonging to the enemy; in fact he is often worked up to such a pitch that he becomes a perfect fiend, or, as the Russians called [them] at the Alma, 'red devils in petticoats'.  None but men who are mad could do in cold blood the deeds that were performed by some of our men.

Many bodies were fast decomposing and had to be interred at once; one common grave answered for both friend and foe.  The ditch in front of the Redan was utilise for all who fell anywhere near it; those that fell in our trenches were buried there, the parapets being, in both cases, thrown upon them; the stench was almost unbearable for weeks afterwards.  Some two or three hundred rough-looking coffins were found in the town -- they were full, it was supposed, of officers, but the enemy had not had time to bury them.

A steamer came over from the north side on Monday, the 10th September, under a Rag of truce and begged to be allowed to remove the wounded.  The request was at once granted, for our doctors were only too glad to get rid of them, as they had plenty in their own camps to attend to.  A very great number of these poor fellows had been suffering intense agony for forty-eight hours when, without even a drink of water, they were removed out of our sight.

All our wounded found in the town were carried as quickly as possible to camp, and then the men set to work to get what they could for themselves out of the midst of the ruins -- set to work plundering, if you choose to call it so.  But it was dangerous work and many of them lost their limbs -- and some their lives -- through their foolishness, by the fire from the enemy across the harbour.  Some who were laden with all sorts of articles were stopped by the officers, who wanted to know what they were going to do with all that rubbish.  The men would at once throw down their loads and salute the officers, who repeated the question:

'What on earth do you want with all that rubbish, my men?'
'An' sure, your 'onor, don't we mane to let furnished lodgings! '

They were carrying chairs, tables, bed -- cots -- in fact articles too numerous to mention:

'Sure, your 'onor, we are not going to let the Zouaves have it all!'

A stalwart Irish grenadier, when being rebuked for pilfering, answered:

'Sure an', your' onor, them nice gentlemen they call Zouaves have been after emptying the place clane out.  Troth, if the Divil would kindly go to sleep for only one minute them Zouaves would stale one of his horns, if it was only useful to keep his coffee in.'

Truly these gentlemen were capital hands at fishing up all that was likely to be useful!

Some of our Hibernian boys had got a good haul, and were making off as fast as possible, when a party of Zouaves stopped them and wanted to go halves; but Paddy was not half such a fool as he was taken for -- he would not give up anything until he had found out which was the best man, so the load was thrown down, and the Frenchmen were very soon satisfied and only too glad to get out of the way.

It was a common saying in camp that there was nothing too hot or too heavy for the Zouaves to walk off with; and where there was room for a rat, there was room for one of these nimble little gentlemen to get in.  They proved themselves all, during the fighting, troublesome customers to the enemy; and now that the fight was over they distinguished themselves by pilfering everything they could lay hands upon.  But they did not get all -- our huts were made very comfortable by the wood that our men brought out of the town.

The above comes from

33rd Foot (Duke of Wellington's Regiment) Casualties

(whom Seddall knew personally, tried to save the lives of, and watched die.)

No. Rank/Name Disposition


Pte Robert Allune killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte George Anderson killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Baldwin missing at Sebastopol 20 December 1854


Pte Francis Ball killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Mark Barber killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Samuel Barnes killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte William Bassett killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Henry Beebe killed at the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte Charles Beete killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte George Bettle killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte James Blair killed at Sebastopol 22 March 1855


Pte Andrew Boyd killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte Thomas Brown killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte William Burke killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte William Burrows killed at Sebastopol 1 August 1855


Pte James Butcher killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte John Calnan killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Martin Carty killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Sergeant John Chalmers killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte John Chapman killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte Maurice Collings killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte J. Connors killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte Edward Corrigan killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte George Crabtree killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte William Craig killed at Sebastopol 12 June 1855


Pte William Daily killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte James Dare killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Deery killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte Thomas Doherty killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte James Doyle killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte John Dwyre killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte Edward Finlay killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte Henry Futters killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Patrick Grady killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte J. Hanley killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte Joseph Hanley missing after the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte John Harrigan killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte Richard Harris killed at Sebastopol 20 June 1855


Pte J. Harrison killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte John Herson killed at Sebastopol 25 June 1855


Pte Martin Higgins killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte John Hilton killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte Thomas Hogan killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Timothy Holroyd killed at Sebastopol 20 December 1854


Pte Thomas Hopkins killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Peter Horey killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte James Hoyle killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte George Hunt killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte W. Hutty killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte James Joyce killed at Sebastopol 22 August 1855


Pte John Keefe killed at Sebastopol 22 March 1855


Pte J. Kennedy killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte Joseph Key killed at Sebastopol 12 June 1855


Pte William King killed at Sebastopol 3 June 1855


Pte Edmund Kirby killed at Sebastopol 22 March 1855


Pte James Lacy killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte George Lownes killed at Sebastopol 28 August 1855


Pte Charles Masters killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Stephen McGarry killed at Sebastopol 20 December 1854


Pte Patrick McGrath killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte Andrew McLoughlin killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Sergeant W. McLoughlin killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte J. Minneagh missing after the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte M. Monaghan killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte Robert Monaghan killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Martin Mulkerrin killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte William Mullen killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Sergeant John Nagle killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte T. Nash killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte Peter O'Hara killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte George Osborne killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Pelling died of wounds after the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Pollard missing after the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte James Quin killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte M. Reagan killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte John Riddle killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte William Riley killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte Edward Ryan killed at Sebastopol 5 August 1855


Pte William Ryan killed at Sebastopol 23 April 1855


Pte William Shackleton killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Joshua Shepherd killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte George Skeggs killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Henry Smith missing at Sebastopol 20 December 1854


Pte R. Smith killed in the Final Attack on the Redan 8 September 1855


Pte William Smith killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte William Smith killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte John Spencer  killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte John Stebbings killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Corporal William Stewart killed in the Assault on the Quarries 7 June 1855


Pte James Sullivan killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Sullivan killed at Sebastopol 5 July 1855


Pte Thomas Suttie killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Tidd killed at the Battle of Inkermann 5 November 1854


Pte Joseph Urquhart died of wounds at Sebastopol 3 November 1854


Pte Thomas Whitehead killed in the First Attack on the Redan 18 June 1855


Pte James Whitty killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Thomas Wilson killed at Sebastopol 12 June 1855


Pte John Woodward killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Frederick Woolhouse killed at the Battle of the Alma 20 September 1854


Pte Richard Worrell killed at Sebastopol 20 June 1855

The above is from

The Official account from the Army:

7th Sep 1855

 Again on the approach of daylight the batteries as usual opened with the same rapidity and in like manner as heretofore, the Russians In the meantime replying but feebly.  During the day the weather was cold and bore every indication of falling rain.  Preparations now being desirable to be made for an assault the following is the substance of a Division issued to the Light Division on this evening 

The Redan will be assaulted after the French have attacked the Malakoff. -- The Light & 2nd Divisions will share this important duty and finding respectively the half of each party. 

The 2nd Brigade Light Division with an equal number of the 2nd Division will form the 1st body of attack, each Division furnishing first a covering party of 100 men under a Field Officer. 

2nd a storming party carrying ladders of 160 men under a Field Officer - these men to be selected for this essential duty will be the first to storm after they have placed the ladders. 

3rd a storming party of 500 men with 2 Field Officers

4th a Working party of 100 men with a Field Officer. 

The Supports will consist of the remainder of the Brigade to be immediately in rear. 

The Covering party will consist of 100 Rank & File of the Rifle Brigade 2nd Battalion under the command of Captain Fyers, and will be formed on the extreme left of the 5th Parallel ready to move out steadily in extended order towards the Redan, their duty will be to cover the advance of the ladder party and keep down the fire from the parapets. -- The 1st Storming party of the Light Division will consist of 160 men of the 97th Regiment under the command of Major Wellsford, this party will carry the ladders and be the first to storm, they will be formed in the New Boyeau running from the centre of the 5th Parallel, they will follow immediately in rear of the covering party, they must be good men and true to their difficult duty which is to arrive at the ditch of the Redan and place the ladders down it, to turn 20 of them so as to get up the face of the work leaving the other ladders for others to come down by.

The next Storming party will consist of 200 men of the 97th Regiment under command of Lt. Col. Hon. H. R. Hancock, and 300 of the 90th Regiment. under command of Capt. R Grove.  This party will be stationed in the 5th Parallel and will assault in a column of Divisions at one place. 

The Light Division will lead the whole column of attack which will be formed of Divisions of 20 files and so told off. 

The Supports consisting of 750 men of the 19th & 88th Regiments with a part of a Brigade of the 2nd Division on their left, will be placed as they stand in Brigade in the 4th Parallel from whence they will move into the 5th Parallel, so soon as the assault is made by those in front of them. -- The Working party of 100 men will be furnished by the 90th Regiment under Captain Perrin. -- The remainder of the Light & 2nd Divisions will form a Reserve, Light Division, in the right Boyeau between the 3rd & 4th Parallels - the 2nd Division in the left Boyeau between the 3rd & 4th Parallels. 

The 1st and Highland Divisions will he formed in that part of the 3rd Parallel in communication with the French right attack, and in the Middle Ravine. -- Two days provisions will be issued and cooked before 6 o'clock tomorrow morning. 

10 additional rounds of ammunition will be issued out to each man.  The men to parade in Red Coats and forage caps. 

With regard to the last paragraph it is a most curious fact that in many prints that were issued for sale in England giving a view account of the attack, the artists gulled the people with the idea of knapsacks, chacos, and even colors flying, none of which were ever used. 

8th Sep 1855 

As daylight appeared the batteries on the left again opened as before the on the right the bombardment was anything the reverse to rapidity. -- With it came also a strong and cold wind carrying over and to the direction of the camps clouds of dust, while at the same time being unfavourable to an attack. -- Shortly after the men had breakfasted in camp the Corps assembled in their respective parades in order to move off to the trenches each on arrival taking up the places allotted to them as directed in orders of the previous day. 

Everything being arranged for an attack and the hour appointed having arrived (viz. mid-day) the French at a given signal moved out with rapidity and escaled the work opposed to them which by its formation enabled them when once in it to retain possession, pouring in as they did immense reinforcements and destroying the face of the battery which would in any event prevent the enemy from holding it as before should the Allies be driven out by superior force. -- Taken by surprise and which evidently was the case from the feeble resistance offered by the enemy in the Malakoff on the first attack of the French, the Russians scooted, so many of them that were able to escape the bayonets of the French Infantry, but upon reinforcements coming up to their assistance returned and resumed the attack so as to retake the redoubt which the French had surprisingly taken possession of. 

The French in the meantime knowing pretty well that the enemy would endeavour to drive them out, made all the haste they could to turn the work against its original owners, and by bringing up field pieces together with numerous troops ensconced themselves in such positions as defied all the exertions of the Russians to defeat them, their attention being most urgently required not only at this point but also at the extreme right adjoining the Carreen bay where at the little redan in order to flank the enemy the French had been for some time desperately engaged and who tho' they fought for several hours hand to hand were ultimately repulsed with exceeding heavy loss. 

So soon as the French troops had entered the works of the Malakoff and displayed one of their colors, the British moved out of their parallels, the covering party then the ladder men, and in quick succession the remainder of the attacking forces, but as the Russians had had ample time to collect a vast body of men to the defence of the Great Redan, against which the British directed themselves, they met the leading troops with showers of grape and matching musketry and which cut down great numbers 'ere they could cross the wide space over which they had to go before replying to the enemy's fire being 260 yards in extent and flanked by various batteries. -- Nothing daunted, however, onward the troops went and reaching the ditch which was wide and deep instantly descended, some by the ladders (which unfortunately proved to be too short to be of any use) while the greater number did not and scrambled up the face of the work where they opened on the enemy a rapid and well directed fusilade entering at the same time the work as well as circumstances permitted, the enemy having blocked up all entrance by the embrasures by screens of sheet iron and plaited rope so as to protect their gunners, leaving only sufficient space through the screens to admit of the muzzle of the guns. 

The supports having now arrived and entered the ditch, the enemy from all the batteries that would bear on the face of the Great Redan opened in that direction doing immense mischief on the attacking British, while too at the same time the Russians brought into play some guns that were ingeniously planted in the work of the Redan itself to sweep the several parts of the ditch, being entirely hidden from sight except to those in the ditch and which could be screened almost with impunity. 

Immediately on the attack being delivered, the enemy rushed down from molesting the French in the Malakoff and assisting their brethren in the Great Redan, greatly added to the inconvenience of the British who tho' fighting at long odds and losing numbers every minute were still not reinforced. -- The enemy knowing that should the British succeed in holding the Redan their chances of escape from the town would be an almost impossibility fought also with desperation tho' always on the defensive, never daring to flank or to rush upon the British outside the work. 

Four o'clock having now passed and no reinforcements coming to assist the few still holding the work tho' Colonel Windham who had succeeded be the Command in lieu of Lt. Col. Unett, 19th Foot badly wounded, had recrossed the plain to ask for them and finding that it was utterly impossible to remain any longer opposed to such a force as the Russians now had at their disposal the remnants of the attacking British retreated to their own lines leaving the Work in the hands of its original owners who tho' losing the Malakoff still held the Great & Little Redans. 

In this affair the loss of the British was exceedingly heavy, but was greatly exceeded both by the enemy as well as by the French. -- Of the 19th Foot the following were killed, wounded, and prisoners. 

1 Lieut Colonel (Unett), 1 Captain (Godfrey), 3 Serjeants and 23 Rank & File killed. 
2 Captains, 6 Subalterns, 9 Serjeants, and 144 Rank & File wounded and 5 Rank & File missing 

The original number in the attack including Officers and men being only 418. 

9 Sep l855 

This morning presented a sad spectacle for independents of the numerous wounded taken away to various hospitals during last night, there still remained a great many more who were writhing in agony at the torture of their wounds, while calm and serene lay around them masses of dead. 

The above from:


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