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Amended 16.5.2011. Minor edits 16.2.14, 13.4.14. Mustard quote and photo of grave added 5.12.15.

1483, Private John ETTRIDGE — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Welwyn, near Watford.

His father was possibly Nathaniel Ettridge, who married Ann Presland at Welwyn in April of 1834. She came from the parish of St. Anne's, Hertford. There is some measure of proof in that he named his son Nathaniel, in turn.

1841 Census

Locklor Lodge South, Welwyn.

John, 4, son of Nat Etheredge, Agricultural Labourer, and his wife Ann.

There were 3 other siblings: Charles 15, Mary, 10, and Thomas 9.


Enlisted by Corporal Richard Hurley at Westminster on the 24th of August 1852.

Age: 18.

Height: 5' 7".

Trade: Cheese-monger.

Features: Fresh complexion. Brown eyes. Dk. brown hair.


Wounded in action at Balaclava, being sent at first to Scutari on the 26th of October and then invalided to England, via Malta, on the 16th of December 1854.

Sent from the Invalid Depot at Chatham to London on the 30th of June 1855, "on furlo till discharge."

"We were coming back along the valley when a chum of the 13th Light Dragoons named Hettridge [1483, John Ettridge] rode up to me. "Jim", he said, "lend me your sword, for I've lost mine in the fight." I still had my lance, though the shaft had been chipped by a bullet. I turned to draw my sword to hand it to Hetridge [sic?], when, to my amazement, I had neither sword, scabbard, nor belt. A canister-shot had caught me on the left hip, and cut away sword, belt, overalls, and pants, and laid bare a great patch of bleeding flesh. Another inch would have smashed my hip and killed me."

[Source: Escott Lynn, Blair of Balaclava, foreword x-xi, quoted in Lawrence Crider, In Search of the Light Brigade, 3rd edition, p.494. ]

Discharge & pension

Finally discharged from Chatham Invalid Depot on the 23rd of October 1855:

"Disabled by loss of power in left hand after gun-shot wound through the arm at Balaclava. He had been sent to Scutari on the 26th of October and having been found unfit for further service.

Aged 21 years 6 months on discharge.

Conduct: "very good". Not in possession of any Good Conduct badges.

He was awarded a pension of 9d. per day.

A letter in his documents, dated 19th of April 1902, states: "Noted as not being eligible for further increase of pension as he has a Civil Service pension of £45 a year."


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava and Sebastopol.


Attended the first Balaclava Banquet in 1875.

Member of the Balaclava Commemoration Society in 1879.

Attended the Annual Dinner in 1895.

Life after service

Living in the South London Pension District from 1856.

Marriage registered

John Ettridge and Priscilla Webster Prince, September Quarter 1859, at St George S.

1881 Census

Ham Gate Lodge, Richmond Park, Kingston On Thames, Surrey.

John Ettridge, aged 44, Gate Keeper, born Welwyn, Hertford.

Priscilla Ettridge, wife, 46, born Parwich, Derbyshire.

Two sons and a daughter are shown:

William, 20, and Henry, 18, both Solicitor's Clerks, born Mortlake.

Priscilla, 14, Scholar, is also shown. [RM]

1891 Census

Park Gate Lodge, Richmond Park.

John Ettridge, 54, Gatekeeper.

Priscilla Ettridge, 56.

Three children are shown: William 30, Henry 28, Priscilla 24, all born Mortlake.

1901 Census

Kingston Gate House, Richmond Park.

John Ettridge, 64, Gatekeeper.

Priscilla Ettridge, 66, born Parwich.

One child shown: Priscilla, 34, daughter.

Photograph of John Ettridge in Royal Parks uniform, with Army medals. (unknown date), kindly provided by.

1911 Census

40, Bockhampton Road, Kingston On Thames.

Priscilla Webster Ettridge, 76, widow, born Parwich, Derbyshire.

Priscilla Prince Ettridge, 44, single.

Deaths registered

Priscilla W Ettridge, 78, March Quarter 1913, Kingston.

Priscilla P Ettridge, 49, December Quarter 1915, Kingston.

In 1975, Mr. William Legg, living at Keston, Kent, gave information that he had known Ettridge when he (Mr. Legg) was a boy. His parents had pointed him out as a man who had ridden in the Charge of the Light Brigade. At that time Legg was a gate-keeper at the Ham Gate end of Richmond Park. He had one son, who died quite young. Ettridge himself, he thought, had died about 1905-06 and certainly before 1907, when the Legg family finally left the district. An unmarried daughter died in 1915 and was buried in Kingston Churchyard.

Death & burial

Died 6th of July 1904, aged 68.

Death registered

John Ettridge, 68, September Quarter 1904, Kingston.

John Ettridge's gravestone in St. Andrew's Churchyard, Ham Common (photo: EJB, 1980s?)

(Click on image to enlarge)

The inscription on the stone reads:

"In loving memory of William Nathaniel Ettridge, died August 7th 1891, aged 30 years. "Nothing in my hand I bring. Simply to thy Cross I cling."

Left side of plinth: "Also John Ettridge. Died July 6th 1904, aged 68 years. Also Priscilla Prince Ettridge, died December 20th 1915, aged 49 years."

Rear of plinth: "Also Priscilla Webster Ettridge, died January 18th 1913, aged 78 years."

Right side of plinth; "Also Henry John Ettridge, October 19th 1894, aged 32 years.

References & acknowledgements

Registration of marriage, deaths, and Census information for 1841, 1891, 1901 & 1911, kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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