Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 16:38 UK

War hero's home to be a sex shop

Edwin Hughes (Balaclava Ned)
A plaque in Ned's honour was erected nearly 20 years ago

Plans to turn the birthplace of the longest surviving member of the Charge of the Light Brigade into a sex shop have been approved.

Edwin Hughes, otherwise known as 'Balaclava Ned', was born in Wrexham and died in Blackpool in 1927 aged 96.

He rode in the infamous charge in the Crimean War in 1854, which led to the deaths of 272 British soldiers.

One critic said Balaclava Ned would be "spinning in his grave". The company behind the plans refused to comment.

On 25 October, 1854, Troop Sergeant-Major Edwin Hughes and 600 others rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade, at the Battle of Balaclava.

Historians have debated over whether it was a reckless or stupid military action while it has become a symbol of heroic failure.

Hughes was injured and his horse was shot from under him as British forces mounted an attack on the Russian artillery.

I think it's a pity that the premises where his plaque stands could become a sex shop
Colonel Peter Knox, Crimean War Research Society

Despite the deaths of hundreds of colleagues, he survived and continued to serve in the Crimean campaign until being discharged in 1873.

From then on he was known as Balaclava Ned.

It is thought he was born at number 2 Mount Street, where a plaque was unveiled in his honour nearly 20 years ago.

Shropshire-based company, The Fantasy House, now plans to run a sex shop from the premises, just a few doors down from an existing adult shop.

No objections

On Monday, the Environmental Licensing Committee granted permission on the condition none of the licensed material is positioned near the front of the shop.

The committee was told there had been no objections to the application.

However earlier, Colonel Peter Knox, chairman of the Crimean War Research Society, said: "I think old Ned would be spinning in his grave."

Col Knox, who lives near Mold, Flintshire, said: "As I don't live in Wrexham, I don't really feel I could object to the type of shop - that's up to the people of Wrexham.

"He's quite a famous son of Wrexham, having been the longest surviving member of the Light Brigade, and I think it's a pity that the premises where his plaque stands could become a sex shop.

"But I'm sure something could be done. There's no reason why the plaque couldn't be moved elsewhere."

Mr Hughes' medals were sold at auction in 2005 for £16,000.

According to press interviews he gave in later life he said that following the attack he was "damaged about the face and left leg but not seriously".

"We just did our duty without any thought of glory, and, of course, as in all wars many of our lot paid the supreme price."

Print Sponsor

Hall of Fame: Balaclava Ned
27 Jul 09 |  History
Charge survivor's medals sold
02 Mar 05 |  North East Wales


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific