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Hall of Fame: Balaclava Ned

Balaclava Ned
Balaclava Ned

Born 12 December 1830 in Wrexham, 'Balaclava Ned' was the last survivor of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade.

Biography: On October 25 1854 he rode in the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, which occurred at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.

British forces mounted an attack on the Russian artillery which led to the deaths of 272 of the 673 British soldiers involved. The disastrous attack was immortalised in Tennyson's poem The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Edwin Hughes was born in Mount Street, Wrexham, the son of a tinplate worker. He became a shoemaker until 1852 when he joined the 13th Light Dragoons as a Private.

Hughes was injured in the charge and his horse was killed. However he survived and continued to serve in the Crimean campaign until being discharged in 1873.

He then enlisted in the Worcestershire Yeomanry Cavalry, serving with them until 1886. He married and had two sons and two daughters. After the death of his wife he went to live with his unmarried daughter, Mary, in Blackpool.

In 1923 he became the last survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade. He died in Blackpool in 1927. Though he had moved away from Wrexham he often returned to the town and could be persuaded to tell the tale of his historic experience.

In October 1992, on the anniversary of the Charge, a plaque was placed on the house in Mount Street where Hughes was born.




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