3rd November – Battle of Balaklava Talk by Patrick Mercer


This is a Zoom talk and will take place at 6pm on Thursday 3rd November.

Patrick Mercer was the first Britons to walk the battlefields of the Crimea since Winston Churchill in 1945.  After the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1991 made forbidden parts of Russia suddenly accessible, Mercer has been able to visit these sites almost every year since.  Extraordinarily, the bones, weapons and equipment of British and Russian dead can still be found in remote corners making the Crimea one of the most fascinating spots to visit.

Balaklava, 25 October 1854.

With the siege of Sevastopol established, the Russians sent a combined cavalry, artillery and infantry force against the British lines of communication leading to the port of Balaklava.  On a chill, misty morning the British beat Rzyhov’s men off with the gun and rifle fire of the Thin Red Line and then the hugely successful but little remembered charge of the Heavy Cavalry Brigade.  Even to this day, though, the Russians recall how the British defence ended in gallant tragedy when the Light Cavalry Brigade charged to destruction against Cossack guns.