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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 19:31 GMT 20:31 UK
Memorials honour Brigade charge
How the charge unfolded in facts, figures and maps

Memorials have been held at the site of the Charge of the Light Brigade, 150 years after the historic military blunder.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Lord Cardigan and descendants of cavalrymen attended the services at the "Valley of Death".

British horsemen re-enacted the charge, after the bugle which started the original advance was sounded again.

Scores of cavalrymen died when they galloped straight into enemy fire after being sent in the wrong direction.

Although the roll-call suggested most of the 637 cavalrymen were killed in the charge, fewer than 200 are now thought to have lost their lives, although there were many injuries and many horses died.

The Duke of Edinburgh

On Monday, the Duke of Edinburgh, sporting dark glasses to hide a black eye, laid a wreath for the British victims of the Crimean War at an obelisk overlooking the battlefield.

The Duke is colonel in chief of one of the original regiments

Lord Cardigan, whose ancestor commanded the Light Brigade, also laid a wreath there. Earlier, he had ridden through the valley to lay a wreath on a white cross at the scene of the charge.

At the obelisk memorial, he said: "I am honoured to be here but this is not as significant as the earlier ceremony.

"That was in the right place on the battlefield and at the right time, and, of course, this is neither."

Charge

A group of men on horseback again rode into the infamous Valley of Death at 0830 BST (0730 GMT) on Monday, through the vineyards which now cover much of the land.

The re-enactment
Months of preparation went into the re-enactment

Dressed in uniforms of the Crimean War, they recreated an event which, although it only lasted a matter of minutes, has become one of the most famous incidents in British military history.

Alan Larsen, who played the role of a sergeant, said: "For us to even be able to come close to touching that spirit, that discipline and that sheer English bloody-mindedness that took them down the valley makes it an emotionally overwhelming experience."

Retired and serving members of the Queen's Royal Hussars, the King's Royal Hussars, the Light Dragoons and the Queen's Royal Lancers are in the Ukraine for the anniversary.

Even the most half-witted trooper could see it would probably mean his death and yet they did their duty
Lord Cardigan

Earlier, Lord Cardigan told BBC News it was poignant looking out onto the battlefield, now farmland.

He said: "This was a place where virtually 700 men...received an order from Lord Lucan that even the most half-witted trooper could see would probably mean his certain death and yet they went down and they did their duty."

The Charge was part of the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War which saw Britain and France defend Turkey from Russian expansionism.

The Battle of the Alma preceded Balaclava and was a resounding victory for the British in alliance with the French and Turks.




FROM OTHER NEWS SITES:
Herald Tribune British Re-Enact Charge of Light Brigade - 23 hrs ago
ABCNEWS.com Charge of Light Brigade Re-Enacted - 30 hrs ago
Daily Mail Charge of the Light Brigade remembered - 31 hrs ago
Sky News Charge Of The Light Brigade Anniversary - 40 hrs ago
Telegraph150 years on - 44 hrs ago
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SEE ALSO:
Light Brigade hero is remembered
24 Oct 04  |  Staffordshire


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