Thursday, November 9, 2017

6th Dragoons (Inniskilling) Part 1: Battle History

Charge of the Heavy Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava by Orlando Norie
What follows is my internet based research on the regimental history of the 6th Dragoons from embarkation to the battle of Balaclava. It does not include reference to Major ES Jackson's The Inniskilling Dragoons: The Records of an Old Cavalry Regiment (1909) which appears the only historical publication of the Regiment covering the period - it is only available to purchase or physically accessible in libraries not available to me from Tonga. Nevertheless, I have unearthed a number of details not found in the brief on-line unit histories more readily accessed. I hope you find it interesting or even of use.


The 6th Inniskilling Dragoons motto was “Honi soit qui mal y pense” or “evil be to him who evil thinks”. Their nick-names across history were ‘the skins’, the ‘black dragoons’ from 1715 because of their black horses, the ‘old inniskillings’ and the ‘skilingers’. Regimental marches were “The Inniskilling Dragoons” (anonymous) and “Fare thee well Inniskilling’.

The Colonel of the Regiment at this time was career officer Sir George Pownall Adams who purchased colonelcy of the 6th in 1840. He was born 1779 and was 75 years old at the outbreak of war, dyeing in 1856 aged 77. In keeping with British military tradition and perhaps obviously, he was not present during the campaign – the regiment being under the direct command of the Lieutenant Colonel.

The Regiment shipped out from Plymouth for the Crimea in five transports when the first calamity beset them on 21 May 1854. Just 200 miles out a fire broke out on the Regimental Headquarters transport Europa. The fire killed Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Willoughby Moore, veterinary surgeon Kelly (probationary) Mrs Parsons (one of the accompanying wives), 16 other ranks, all the horses (13 officer and 44 trooper mounts) and the baggage on board. A memorial plaque can be found at Chelsea Hospital commemorating the victims.
Europa - London Illustrated News 1854

The Europa was a small sail rigged vessel and some accused the extent of the tragedy on the sailors who were alleged to have abandoned ship prematurely, taking to the life boats and abandoning the above victims to their fate. This Europa is not to be confused with another Crimea campaign transport, the RMS Europa which continued in service until 1866.

The transportation of horses more generally in the Crimean campaign was subject to criticism. The mounts were cramped into tighter stalls that in the days of Napoleon’s wars with no room for the horses to move or lie down and rest. This unduly fatigued the animals in prolonged journeys. The British army had not transported cavalry mounts or the heavy cavalry regiments since 1838. It had been more usual for light cavalry regiments to serve overseas and for transportation to India, the troopers shipped alone and adopted the mounts of the regiments they relieved.

In separate incidents, a further 75 horses were lost at sea, and when the 6th finally landed in the Crimea, cholera ravished the men. We are told that the Regiment lost approximately half their horses by the time they departed Turkey. On the journey from Varna on 27th September a storm forced the transports return until, re-embarking, the Regiment eventually reached Balaclava 7 October. Losses during the storm were extreme with one squadron (two troops) disembarking only 6 from 75 mounts which left England.

Along with the rest of the heavy brigade, the Inniskillings joined the army at Balaclava. The Regiment had particularly suffered losses of men and horses through sickness and mishap. The particular mortality experienced outside of combat was subject to review by the House of Lords in 1856 as was the state of the army on campaign. Just prior to the battle, on 17 October Colonel Paulet (Assistant Adjutant General) ordered the transfer of 100 horses from the Light to the Heavy Brigade, 35 of which were assigned to the Inniskillings.

Henry Dalrymple White (born 1820, aged 34) assumed command of the Regiment. White was a career officer of the Regiment having purchased his Lieutenancy with the 6th in 1839, his Captaincy in the 6th gazetted 17 May 1844 and made Major 22 December 1848.

Second in command was Major Charles Cameron Shute (aged 38 at Balaclava) who had transferred to the 6th in 1840 as lieutenant and was promoted Major in June 1854 – presumably a field promotion along with Dalrymple White after the demise of the Lt Col Willoughby Moore on the Europa. Shute was to become Colonel of the regiment and the image (right) is of Colonel Shute from 1858.

Major Robert George Manley had purchased his captaincy in February 1853. We know he commanded the second squadron at Balaclava, presumably being field promoted similar to his colleagues following the tragedy of the Europa. He had his Brevet Majority listed in December that year (1854). As above, the photograph of Manly is from 1858 whilst he remained with the regiment.

During the Balaclava Charge of the Heavy Brigade, the Inniskillings composed the right flank of the front line (second squadron with Dalrymple White and under the command of Major Manley) and the right flank second line (first squadron to the rear and right with Major Shute). 

Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava by Godfrey Douglas Giles (1897) depicting the Inniskilings in the centre rear-ground..

Dalrymple White controlled the pace of the charge for the Inniskillings to hold line with the Greys to their immediate left whose advance was impeded by the encampment (see my Grey’s account) in spite of Brigadier Scarlet outdistancing himself and impacting with the Russian cavalry in isolation along with his immediate entourage. As the brigade closed on the enemy the two lines were converging according to Kinslake. Dalrymple White was the next person to make contact with the enemy along with his regiment who we are told went in with a ‘cheer’. The heavy cavalry drove into the Russian light cavalry who were backed up from a rolling slope and unfortunately for the Russians were caught at the halt.
Charge of the Heavy Brigade by Harry Payne depicting the Iniskilling but incorrectly with their gauntlets.

The precise speed of the impact is unclear. The Brigade is said to have achieved the momentum of anything from a trot to a gallop. In any event, the size of the riders and mounts gave the heavies a distinct advantage in height and momentum. It is acknowledged at this period that British cavalry preferred larger breeds than even their European contemporaries for light cavalry - let alone the heavy regiments. Even once the force of the engagement broke down to clusters of skirmishers, it's not difficult to appreciate the large mounts shifting and knocking the lighter Russian hussar horses about as the big men slashed and struck down blows on their disadvantaged adversaries. 

The first wave comprising the second squadron penetrated to the rear of the Russian column but remained within the immediate mass to continue the melee. During the fighting Dalrymple White took a blow to his helmet which folded it to the scull and can be seen on exhibit today at the York Army Museum. The enemy cavalry to their immediate front were the Ingermanland Hussars, under the command of Major General Khaletsky. Shortly after first impact, the second line of the Brigade collided into melee which included the 1st Squadron Inniskilling under Shute. The entire fight lasted not much more than ten minutes with the Russians retreating under the cannon fire of Captain Brandling’s C Battery RHA.

The casualty returns for the Regiment included in Adjutant General Bucknall Escourt’s report for 26th-28th October 1854 put the losses at 2 rank and file troopers dead (with two horses) with 3 sergeants and ten other ranks wounded. In fact, the casualties sustained across the entire heavy brigade for the battle including the abortive support for the Light Brigade charge are extraordinarily light. 
Surgeon General Sir James Mouat VC by Hussaly - thanks to Cranston Fine Arts

Perhaps the most noteworthy incident of the day was the action undertaken by Regimental Surgeon James Mouat. He took to the field under enemy fire into the infamous Valley and with the assistance of Corporal Charles Wooden (17th Lancers) he tended to Captain Morris who was critically wounded (of the 17th Lancers). Morris was hemorrhaging and Mouat with Wooden are credited with saving Morris' life.

For this action Mouat became the first medical man to receive the Victoria Cross. Wooden was also awarded the VC and whilst of the 17th Lancers during the campaign, he rose to the rank of Sergeant Major by 1858 with the 6th Dragoons and is depicted right.

I found an interesting postscript within the divisional orders of Lord Lucan of 28th October addressing the disposal of plunder by the men of the cavalry division to wit, the personal sale of horses seized which should belong to the crown. There was clearly a bit of it going on. By the order of 1st November these seizures were incorporated as remounts within their respective regiments.

Anyone interested in following up further research on the 6th at Balaclava should get themselves to the National Army Museum in Chelsea. They have there several artifacts including Dalrymple White’s sword and within their archives the letters of Cornet Henry Timson of the Regiment who gives an account. Being on the other side of the world I’m not able to.


A History of the British Cavalry 1816-1919: Volume 2: 1851-1871 By Lord Anglese

Mrs Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea by Frances Isabella Locke Duberly

Letters from the Light Brigade: The British Cavalry in the Crimean War by Anthony Dawson

From Waterloo to Balaclava: Tactics, Technology, and the British Army 1815-1854 by Hew Strachan

THE INVASION OF THE CRIMEA: Its Origin, and an Account of its Progress down to the Death of Lord Raglan by Alexander Kinslake.

The London Gazette – issues from 1854

General Orders and Dispatches of Lord Lucan

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Scots Greys

I can't recall the last time I bought a new release and painted them so quickly before these wonderful Great War Miniatures Scots Greys ... but here they are.
They are as finished as they are going to be until I have built the Balaclava battlefield for them at which time I will know precisely how I will texture their bases for a complete match.

I elected to include painting on the trouser cuffs which is detail not etched onto the sculpts. I achieved a perfect cloth of gold for the leg stripe by mixing Humbrol Gold with Humbrol Yellow but it was significantly muted after the matte spray coat. Next time (if I remember) I'll add that afterwards as I have with the other metallics. 
Collar tabs and valise regiment numbers are also options I opted to include. I'm not completely sold on the valise results but then they'll never be seen with as much scrutiny with the naked eye as they are through the wonders of macro digital photography.
This time I photographed these chaps with a home build light box - don't really know why I never made one up til now but there are some beautiful instructional videos available on-line so I got on with it and knocked up a very effective piece in under an hour. I will never need so worry about the time of day again.
The lighting I used; however, needs some attention. You can clearly see the effects of the yellow or soft light on these shots - I'll see what results white will yield. My swords have a shining silver edge over the shining steel but that definition has been obscured under the lighting I have used.
I have decided on the basing convention for my cavalry (finally) with a 20mm frontage per trooper with sufficient depth to properly accommodate the sculpts. I allow for the Commander to be a full length in front of the front rank with the Trumpeter half a length after him.
The only modelling detail I left out for these Dragoons was depicting the Major bare headed. You'll just have to imagine my Scots Greys as a snap shot in time just prior to that episode in their charge with the Heavy Brigade. Anyway, I hope I've done these wonderful figures some justice.
I've painted a lot of cavalry over the past year between my Lewes and Papellotte projects so I'm taking another break and going back to some Napoleonic infantry.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Shades of Grey: Horsecolours

It seems that I've painted more cavalry of one sort or another in the last year than ever before. I remember when I thought horse painting a chore and something to get through - being more interested in the riders than their mounts. Not so these days. With plentiful resources on horse flesh at my disposal and of course in the age of the internet, I have become far more involved in painting my horses which in a uniformed regiment present more individually than the troopers they carry.

I have indulged myself in breaking up the Scots Greys into divergent colour schemes, or rather different types of 'greys'. I referred to my handy JPEG colour chart for horses and broke my regimental representation of twelve cavalry figures into four groups of three.
This first image is of the Flea Bitten Grey group. I'm hoping it is a subtle build up of layering lightening greys over a base coat mid-grey with mottling white and a final highlighting of white over that.
This second image represents my Rose Grey trio and one of the more interesting schemes to paint. I tinged the blends of my greys with wet highlights of lightened ochre, dappling over the top and white dry brushing the highlights. I was also pleased to muck about with a darker lower leg scheme.
This third image represents the classic and perhaps least interesting group of standard Grey (or white horses). On the upside, they were the simplest colour scheme to paint.
The last image is that representing the Dappled Greys. One of my favourite schemes and certainly the most complex to achieve, it comprises a series of alternating dark and mid-grey patches with extensive dappling and white dry brushing highlights. I'm hoping they will really come alive as a group is mixed and based for the charge.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Great War Miniatures Dragoons Guard/Royals: Figure Review

CBC10 - Trooper

Well the Greys are already assembled ready for priming so to round out my other recent purchase, this is my review of the Great War Miniatures Dragoons Guard/Royals figures. They come in two three figure packs - CBC09 and CBC10 being the Trooper and Command pack respectively. All images are shots taken before cleaning and as they arrived in the mail.

The Command pack comes with a single trooper, a trumpeter and an officer as with all other packs in the Great War Miniatures range. A few words on the trumpeter first. As with the Greys Command Pack (see earlier review) the trumpeter is blasting away on his bugle with the trumpet slung over his shoulder. The bugle end is nicely dished but I found myself still deepening it just a little with a hand drill when assembling the Grey's trumpeter and I will be doing so with these ones - but that's just me.
CBC10 - Trooper reverse

The mounts, whilst not any larger than the sculpts for the Great War Miniatures Light Cavalry ranges are not the same horse models. Whether new sculpts entirely or perhaps just amended horse furniture and manipulated slightly, the positioning of the legs is different from their Light Cavalry counterparts. For the trumpeters; however, I find the mount dipping forward overly (albeit slightly) and I cut away though the support stems joining the legs to the base so as to lift the front of the model.
CBC10 - Trumpeter

A word of caution when mucking about with freeing up any of the legs with these figures. The horses are all in full action poses and the design of the sculpts rely on the support stems and even mutual support of the legs in some cases. Whilst it may be aesthetically pleasing to free up the legs to give that extra realism you will lose stability in the models. One easy and necessary cut-away is the join on the horse model fully stretched at the gallop where the tail is connected by a stem to the rear legs.
CBC10 - Trumpeter reverse

Unlike the Light Dragoon officer, the Dragoon Guards/Royals officer has an optional arm which needs to be fixed in the standard male/female join of the rest of the troopers (except the trumpeter). These pin and socket joints do require some assistance; however, with some careful cutting and filing to narrow and define the arm-pin and some drilling and widening of the receiving hole in the body of the rider.

The proportions and detail of the brass helmets is superb and I think I'm even more excited about them that the Grey's bearskins. They should look marvelous all painted up. Unlike the Grey's, the remainder of the 'heavies' embarked for Crimea without their valises and they are appropriately missing from the sculpted horse furniture. The tack is correct and consistently includes the 'Y' harness across the horses face (as opposed to the 'X' for Light Cavalry such as the Hussars).
CBC10 - Officer

The scults are the typical rider and mount once piece model more typically found with 15mm figures. The rider's legs also raise out from the horse in relief - the lower leg not being defined and free forming from the horse as is generally the case resulting from separate riders and mounts. It is not noticeable when painting is finished.
CBC10 - Officer reverse

As with news molds, these figures are remarkably clean with almost no flash and very little trimming required. Mold lines are actually hard to find - the best finished figures I recall ever working with.

Again, these are a triumph for Great War Miniatures and with the exception of the dated Wargames Foundry range (on the small side) these Dragoons Guards/Royals together with their Scots Grey's counterparts have filled a long standing gap in the 28mm market for the Crimean War period.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Royal Scots Greys at Balaclava

Initially, no heavy cavalry were listed for deployment in the Crimea campaign. Eventually they were embarked and the two squadrons of the 2nd Dragoons Royal Scot’s Greys (the Greys) were the last to leave England on board the Himilaya, the 3,438 ton P&O steamship – the largest passenger ship in the world when launched in 1853 and with the new screw propeller. Some sources have the 5th Dragoons Guards aboard the Himalaya.

The Greys were transported from England directly to Kulalie Barracks, Constantiniple on 10 August and thence to the Crimea, the Grey’s only joining the army on 23 September at the Alma River after the battle of Alma, disembarking the bulk of the regiment at the Katcha River. Whilst they were the last to leave home, they were first to arrive in theatre; the rest of the brigade having the misfortune to take temporary residence at Varna, Bulgaria. 

The Greys were fortunate in avoiding the cholera which affected the men at Varna, and the severe wastage of horses from glanders and farcy, exacerbated from the poor conditions, bad forage and exposure. By the time the rest of the Brigade reunited with the Greys at Balaclava Bay, their mixed fortunes at sea added to a total loss of 226 mounts with most of the rest in bad condition. So, when the Greys were formed up in the Vanguard of the army after Alma in its approach to Sevastopol, their picturesque appearance was remarked upon.

As the regiment skirted Sevastopol, it engaged in skirmishing with the rear-guard of Menshikoff’s column on 25 September in what is called the 'Affair of Mackenzie Farm'. Encountering Russian infantry, they had formed up in open ground whilst elements dismounted and skirmished through the woods from where the Russians were sniping. With support from ‘I’ Troop RHA under Captain Maude and Shakespeare, they were finally ordered to charge down the baggage train, dispatching six troopers and capturing several wagons containing ammunition, supplies and Menshikoff’s personal wagon laden with champagne and a drunk Colonel.

The remainder of the Heavy Brigade joined the Greys at Balaclava. On the day of the battle, the Greys were early into action. They were initially ordered forward with a troop of horse artillery ('I' Troop) up to a position between the redoubts to cover the Turkish garrison and their eventual withdrawal. Taking up position they found themselves outgunned but kept post until the ammunition ran out – with some loss from rifle fire as well as round shot. I presume the Greys were kept back from the firing line but able to cover the guns. Withdrawing under fire from Liprandi’s artillery, sources state that a good many horses and some men had fallen victim to enemy fire – I imagine more amongst the gun and limber crews.

Details concerning the Charge of the Heavy Brigade can be conflicting but there is no doubt that is was led by the Greys and  the second squadron 6th Inniskilling Dragoons to their right flank under the overall direct command of Brigade Commander Lieutenant General Sir James York Scarlett. The Greys were led by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Darby Griffith (Lt. Col. From 1852); one squadron commanded by Major George Calvert Clarke on the right, and the other by Captain Samuel Toosey Williams on the left. Cornet Henry Edwards Handley, Lieutenant Robert Scott Hunter, Lieutenant George Buchanan and Lieutenant Francis Sutherland were the four troop leaders of the regiment. Average strength of the Greys fielded in Crimea was 223.

The two regiments had previously formed the left of two columns (the 6th  Inniskillings followed by the Greys) which were wheeled to meet a surprise appearance of something in the order of 1,700-3,000 Russian cavalry supported by horse artillery. The Greys now formed the left flank of a rushed advance finding themselves advancing through the tent lines of the Light Brigade adjacent to an abandoned vineyard with the 6th Inniskillings to their right. The previous right column were in order, the fist squadron 6th Inniskillings, both squadrons of the 5th Dragoon Guards and those of the 4th all of whom were now in support, wheeling to their left. Lord Lucan (General Commanding Cavalry Division) was to the rear, rallying the Brigade and later directing the 4th Dragoons up the South Valley and onto the Russian right flank in support of the developing Brigade counter-attack. The Royals were well back in reserve.

As the 6th advanced if found itself forward of the Greys due to the Grey's entanglement amongst the tents of the Light Brigade camp they were forced to cross. The 6th held back to keep the line but once the Greys finally came abreast of the 6th just in time to put in the final charge at the gallop. As the Inniskillings shouted their battle cry, Faugh A Ballagh, observers reported that the Scots Greys made an eery, growling moan.

General Scarlet with his aides Major Alexander Elliot, Captain Sheridan and a trumpeter were up to fifty yards in front of the Greys and were seen to be enveloped completely by the Russian cavalry before the Greys and the 6th could catch them. The fighting was famously savage on the part of the British heavies which were unexpectedly received at the halt by the Russians. By the end of the encounter General Scarlet had received five sabre cuts and a dented helmet and Major Elliot a ‘bad cut across the back of the head’ and fourteen sabre wounds. During the advance Cornet Grey Neville’s horse stumbled amongst the Light Brigade encampment tents, throwing him to the ground where he was said to have been stabbed to death, suggesting some fighting might have occurred amongst the cavalry encampment.
General Scarlet at Balaclava
Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Griffith took a wound to the head from rifle fire when leading the advance and is said to have been unable to lead the rest of the charge being temporarily incapacitated. The regimental history records him as having received a ‘slight wound’. A total of 78 casualties were incurred across the brigade through this action. The Greys took 2 men killed and 54 wounded (several mortally) by the end of the day. The Heavy Brigade inflicted up to 270 casualties on the Russian cavalry, including Major-General Khaletski during their charge.

Most of the casualties inflicted that day on the Heavy Brigade with particular emphasis on the Greys occurred during their supporting advance with the charge of the Light Brigade. Advancing as far down the valley as Redoubt No:3 Lord Lucan withdrew them only after severe exposure to enemy artillery fire and significant loss.
Major George Calvert Clarke after the battle with his wounded horse, Sultan.

Two members of the Scots Greys were among the first to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for their actions on 25 October. Sergeant Ramage galloped out to the assistance of a private who was surrounded by seven Russians, dispersed them and saved his comrade's life. Later that day when covering the retreat of the Light Brigade, he lifted from his horse a private who was badly wounded and carried him safely to the rear under heavy fire and he had also managed to take a prisoner. His VC is displayed at The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sergeant Major John Grieve saved the life of an officer surrounded by Russians during the when riding into the skirmish, cutting off the head of one Russian, disabling and dispersing the others. His VC is on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide.


Into the Valley of Death: The British Cavalry Division at Balaclava 1854 - Mollo and Fosten 1994

The Invasion of the Crimea: Its Origin and an Account of Its Progress, Alexander William Kinglake 1863 

The History of the Second Dragoons “Royal Scots Greys”, Edward Almack, 1908

A History of the British Cavalry 1816-1919: Volume 2: 1851-1871 By Lord Anglesey