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Added 31st May 2012. Amended 10.9.2012. Minor edits and additions 7.4.14, 8.11.14. New info. and images added throughout 12.16.

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Captain Soame Gambier JENYNS — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born on the 4th of February 1826, the son of George Jenyns, Esq. (1795 — 1878), of Bottisham Hall, Cambridgeshire [? vicar of Bottisham?], and his wife Maria Jane [EJB originally had "Henrietta"] (? — 1867), daughter of Sir James Gambier (1772 — 1833).

His first name came from a well-known relative, the politician, wit and author Soame Jenyns (1704 — 1787), who had died without children — hence Bottisham Hall had come to his [?second] cousin, SGJ's grandfather George Leonard Jenyns (1763 — 1848).

There is an entry about GLJ (and many other Jenynses, including Soame the elder, Leonard, and Charles Fitzgerald (also John Henslow), on the Cambridge Alumni Database, University of Cambridge, here.

"His mother was Maria Jane Gambier, not Henrietta. She was the daughter of Sir James Gambier, 1772 — 1833, and his wife, Jemima Snell. (I put the dates in as there are rather a lot of Sir James Gambiers!)

Her father also had an illegitimate child called James Fitzjames, RN. He was 3rd in command on Sir John Franklin's Quest to find the North-West Passage, 1845, in which all 129 men were lost. Apparently all his legitimate children knew of James Fitzjames.

Maria Jane was my 4th great aunt. Incidentally, my great grandfather was Sir Howard Craufurd Elphinstone, RE who won one of the first VCs in the Crimean War. He was born in Riga, Livonia (now Latvia) and died at sea in March 1890, aged 60."

Soame Gambier Jenyns was baptised at St James Piccadilly, Westminster, on 1 March 1821. His father was decribed as "Gent". The family were living at 5, Sackville Street, Mayfair, a stone's throw from the church.

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Jenyns Family History, as outlined in Burke's Peerage in 1879.

Burke's Peerage (Burke, Bernard, Sir. A genealogical and heraldic history of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland 6th ed. London: Harrison, 1879. vol I. p.869.

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1841 Census


George [Leonard] Jenyns [grandfather], 75.

George Jenyns [father], 46.

Maria Jenyns [mother], 42.

Mary Jenyns, 50.

Elizth Jenyns, 39.

Isabel Jenyns [sister], 10.

Soame Jenyns, 15

[A number of] servants are also shown.

"Jenyns Soame Gambier. Born Feb 1826. Next eldest surviving son of George Jenyns. At Bury school 1834-36. Royalist [meaning? House?]. Joined 13th Hussars. Was in the charge at Balaclav [sic]"


[Source: Suffolk: Bury St. Edmunds — Biographical List of Boys Educated at King Edward 6th Free Grammar School, 1550-1900. Transcript only, no image, entry has obvously been clipped, so there may be more. Online at ancestry.co.uk (accessed 12.12.16).]

Natural history, Darwin, Bees etc

Gambier family

Perhaps add info about the Gambiers, particularly their naval connections?

Bottisham Hall, a fine Georgian house (remodelled somewhat since SGJ lived there).

Photo source?

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Cornet in the 13th Light Dragoons: 30th of September 1845.

[Cornet Soame Gambier Jenyns presented by the Earl of Hardwicke to Queen Victoria, 14 February 1846.]

"Cornet Soame Gambier Jenyns was presented to the Queen, on appointment to the 13th Light Dragoons, by the Earl of Hardwicke."

[Source: London Daily News, 13 February 1846. [PB]. Clipping supplied by Adam Burns-Mace, March 2019. ABM suggests this Hardwicke is probably the MP for Cambridge, widely known as the famous "Champagne Charlie".]

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Lieutenant, 13th Light Dragoons: 24th of September 1847.

Captain, 13th Light Dragoons: 20th of December 1850.

War Office, Dec. 20

13th Light Dragoons — Lieutenant Soame Gambier Jenyns to be Captain, by purchase, vice Hervey, who retires; Cornet Percy Shawe Smith to be Lieutent, by purchase, vice Jenyns.

[Source: Dublin Evening Mail, 23 December 1850. [PB]]

1851 Census

Hamilton Cavalry Barracks, Midlothian

Soame Gambier Jenyns appears as "Joaque Gambies Leugus" [!].

Joaque Gambies Leugus, 25, Captain 13th St Dr. Cons (Captain), born Bottisham Hall, Cambridgeshire.

[Source: Ancestry.com: here.

Note: At this time [2016] it is still not possible to view the original Scottish Census documents. Certainly many of the other 13th Light Dragoon names names listed in the Barracks are wrong, sometimes (as in this case) wildly so. I have informed Ancestry of the error (13.12.2016). [PB]]

[year?] The 13th Light Dragoons were quartered at Coventry, and Jenyns and Goad lived with me a great part of the season. Jenyns suffered much from asthma, and often sat up all night propped up with pillows, but he always came up to time in the morning. Goad was rather bald on the top of his head, and had his head shaved except a ring just about his ears, so he never could take his hunting cap off during the day.

[Source: p.]

Brevet-Major, 13th Light Dragoons: 12th of December 1854.

Campaign service

Major Jenyns served in the Eastern campaign of 1854-55, including the reconnaissance of the Danube under Lord Cardigan (in command of the squadron of 13th Light Dragoons), battle of Balaclava (horse shot), Inkerman, Tchernaya and the Siege and fall of Sebastopol; also present with the Light Brigade at Eupatoria. (Medal and three Clasps.)

Led troop [E?] in the Sore-back Reconnaissance (25 June — ?11 July 1854)

Sent sick to Scutari on the 15th of September 1854 and did not land with the regiment.

Rode in command of "E" Troop during the Charge. In a letter home he described some of his experiences:

"Poor old "Moses" was shot through the shoulder and into his guts — he only just got me back. I had some narrow shaves though, as we all did. My cloak, rolled in front of my saddle, had three canister-shots through it, as well as the end knocked off by a piece of shell, this catching me on the knee, but only causing severe bruising."

Barrett [PB: author of the Regimental History] further states that 'In his Crimean Notes Colonel Tremayne writes — 'Jenyns went right through the guns, and he told me he shot two wheel horses with his revolver in retiring, feeling sure we should be supported.'...

Captain Percy Smith writes — 'You have, of course, seen all the accounts of our charge in the papers, so I will not try to tell you anything more about it, except that 'Jenks' [Jenyns] was worth his weight in gold. He was everywhere, and kept his head as well as if he had been at a common field-day. He was on 'Moses.' The good old horse got shot in four places, and was only just able to get back to the Heavies, behind whom we formed up.'

His actions during the Charge at Balaclava are described in some detail in a letter by 1341, Private John McCann, 13th Light Dragoons [transcribed and in archive].

He was also the senior officer of the 13th Light Dragoons after the charge at Balaclava and reformed the regiment — for which he received the Brevet of Major and the C.B. He also received the 5th Class Order of the Medjidie.]

"Horse Guards,

1st July 1856.

Sir, — I have the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chiefs command to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th ult. and to acquaint you in reply that Brevet Major Jenyns, CB, of the 13th Light Dragoons having reported his arrival in this country has this day been ordered to rejoin his regiment with as little delay as possible.

I have, etc. etc.,

W. A. Foster, AAG

[To] The Officer Commanding, 13th Light Dragoons, Ballincollig."

Extracts from the Cambridge Independent Press, Huntingdon, Isle of Ely, Bedfont, Peterborough and Lynn Gazette, 6th of September 1856:

Presentation of a sword to Major Jenyns, 13th Light Dragoons

Yesterday a public demonstration took place at Bottisham to commemorate the return of a brave soldier from the Crimea, namely that of Major Jenyns, to his native village. At half-past four the gallant soldier arrived at the Swan Inn, which was the meeting place fixed upon and where he was met by a large body of gentlemen, who gave him a hearty reception. A procession was then formed in the following order:

"The Divisional Police — Crimean Ram [sic] — Brass Band — The carriage containing the gallant soldier — and about 30 other gentlemen in carriages. The ram, a magnificent and docile creature, made friends with the soldier soon after it was found in the Crimea, and it followed him around just like a dog.

As soon as the procession started through the village, which was emblazoned with flags and banners waving from almost every window, the band, consisting of twelve musicians, struck up, "See the conquering hero comes," and loud huzzas were shouted by the bystanders.

At length the school-room was reached, the entrance of which was framed by a an evergreen arch-way with the word "Welcome" in flowers. Inside the beautifully decorated room a cold dinner was later held, but a further account of the proceedings must wait until next week, as they were not over when we went to press.

From the same source, 13th of September 1856:

Last week we inserted a paragraph headed as above; but unfortunately however, the 'handsome dress sword' did not arrive in time for the presentation; but as the gallant Major was expected on that day, it was determined not to postpone the 'dinner.' So, the sword was given to 'all intents and purposes" and everything went off with the greatest eclat.

It was in the Balaclava Charge that the Major so distinguished himself and earned his laurels; and very proud the people of Bottisham appear to have him back in the village again. The preparations made to receive him were such as are seldom witnessed in any village in the land...

As soon as the dinner had ended, and the ladies had honoured the room by their presence, the Chairman gave in succession the usual loyal toasts. The former vicar of the parish, the Revd. W. Hailstone, was received with cheers when rising to answer. He said that he had no idea, when entering that room, that he would be called upon to make a speech. He was much pleased at witnessing the kind feeling that called upon so many old faces to come together to do honour to the grandson of his esteemed friend (the late Revd. G. Jenyns, of Bottisham Hall, and Vicar of Swaffham Prior) with whom he had laboured for so many years...

The Chairman, again rising, called for the glasses to be charged to the rim, as it was his pleasing duty to propose the toast of the evening. It was in the burst of enjoyment that he mentioned the name of 'Major Jenyns', the object of our love and admiration. He felt such a hearty response in his bosom, to those feelings just manifested, that words failed him to express himself as he wished. It was just as well however, that he held in his hand an address from the people that would say all he had failed to utter, and which he would read to the gentleman to whom they had met to pay the homage which was his due.

The address emanated from those who knew him in his early years, years in which he had become most endeared to them by his good qualities; since then he had shown more manly qualities and also the spirit of a real soldier. Being now for the first time home on Bottisham ground after the sufferings in which he had shared, the dangers through which he had passed, and the scenes he had witnessed, the address must be all the more gratifying to him...

The Chairman then read the address in a very feeling manner. It congratulated the Major on his appearance amongst them, and thanked Providence for having protected him in such dangers and trials, and for sparing him to be present on that festive occasion.

It then spoke of the fierce battles of the Alma, Inkerman and Balaclava, etc, and of the anxiety the parishioners felt at this time for his welfare, also of his having endeared himself to them in his early years, not only by his good qualities, but in consequence of having been the son and grand-son of such an esteemed family.

Then it spoke of their pleasure in meeting on that occasion to express their admiration and gratitude to one who departed not from the scene of warfare until the voice of peace was heard; and of the sword, that token of their esteem. This (meaning the sentiments expressed in the address) the Chairman said, was no bombast — no exaggeration — but the sentiments of every-one gathered in that room, and well-suited to his gallant friend.

The Chairman here apologised for the non-appearance of the dress-sword, which it had been intended to present on that occasion, and said; as everyone was so eager not to delay doing honour to the Major, and as all arrangements had been made, they could not wait for shop-keepers and manufacturers. The 'present' however, which he thought a very suitable one, would arrive in his (the Major's) hands ere long, but he trusted it might remain sheathed the rest of his life, enough, he thought, had been seen by him of the miseries of war over the last three years.

No doubt many of them remembered how his friend in the early years had joined in the sports and pastimes of the village, and that he had gained the love of both rich and poor. How could they not be proud of him, especially after his conduct of late years; and how gratifying it must be for him to know that there was not one person in the entire parish who had not turned out to do him homage on that day. He hoped that he might be long spared, and he was sure there was not one present who would not join heartily in the toast, viz., 'The health and prosperity of the hero of the day.'

The gallant Major, who is a fine-built soldier, of good features and rather imposing appearance, was much affected by this expression of good feeling towards him, the countenance which had brightened at the sound of battle, was now flushed with excitement — the stalwart frame which had stood firm in the midst of battle and danger — and hesitated not to approach it, was now filled with emotion; and the eyes which had flashed at the sword, were now moist and downcast.

After some little time he arose, amidst tremendous cheering, which having a little subsided, he said he must confess that he was nearly overpowered with feelings of gratitude and affection, and he hoped they would make allowances for the same. If he failed in words to express his gratitude for their sentiments, and the manner in which they had so highly honoured him, he trusted that they would take the will for the deed. He could not look upon it solely as a tribute and honour to himself, but also as a token of affection and regard for his whole family.

His services had not been worthy of such regard as those of many of his brother officers; but a welcome like this, in one's own parish, is such as to come home to the heart of every soldier. Had they been in the East and heard the soldier ask, 'What will they say in England,' and seen his anxious looks for a letter from home, they would know what it was to return to their native village.

Again, he was not ashamed to confess that his feelings nearly overcame him. Not only had he to express his thanks for the high compliments contained in the address, but for the high compliments paid him by the Rev. Hailstone. He would not detain them by relating stories of the places named in the address, and exhibited around the walls: they have all been read from the columns of the newspapers; and besides, recounting them would be like singing his own praises. After all, it was not the officers who commanded and led out to battle, but the brave fellows who obeyed that command; and of those who had fought under him he could say, and say earnestly, that they had fought and done what was expected of a soldier, and that was — their duty...

He wished his father had been present today to be a witness to the good feeling that had been shown towards his family. He thanked them most sincerely for the honour they had done him in presenting him with a sword — although he felt he did not deserve it — yet he assured them he would look upon it as another link of the attachment between them and his family as long as he lived. He hoped, however, that if it was ever necessary to unsheathe it in defence of his country, the remembrance of that night would not make its edge the blunter.

He would not detain them by making a long speech, as his motto was, 'Do much and talk little.' But before sitting down he felt it his duty to propose the health of a gentleman who really was a great boon to his parish; one who had done so much good in a short space of time. He need hardly tell them he alluded to their excellent chairman. His health, I am sure, they would drink with all their hearts. Ever since he was a boy he had loved and respected Mr. Hailstone, and many times did he recall him to mind when in imminent danger abroad, little thinking when almost inevitable death appeared before him that he should ever see his face again, or many others with whom he had been familiar in Bottisham Church.

Without detaining them any longer, except to again thank them for their kindness to him, he would propose the health of his excellent friend, Mr. Hailstone.

E. Hicks, Esq., in rising, said that their main object was that day was to pay a tribute of respect and esteem to Major Jenyns, who had been a sharer in dangers and tribulations unheard of in the history of any war.... He had now to propose the health of our brave allies, feeling sure that he was not doing violence to Major Jenyn's feelings if we did not pay a like compliment to those who had fought by his side, than we had paid to him...

Major Jenyns returned thanks. He said no British soldier who had fought by the side of our allies, wanted much calling on to bear witness to their bravery; it would have been a sorry concern for the English, on one or two occasions, had not the French or Sardinians rushed to their rescue.

If ever he should be engaged in another war, he hoped he might fight on the side of the French, some of whom rushed to almost certain death to save us. The Sardinians too, on another occasion, although unassisted, how nobly they withstood the Russians.

He could return thanks from the heart and soul for the honour done them and begged to propose another toast. Our former enemies, now our friends, were deserving of our respect, they were a set of fine and humane fellows; true, they had been called brutes and barbarians, and other things had been said of them that disgusted the British soldier in the Crimea. How did they treat their prisoners at Kars; and when at Inkerman they were brought up against a wall of Guards, which no one could break through, how nobly they withstood the charge, though they were mowed down like grass. They were deserving of feelings of respect.

He, for his part, would shake hands with, or touch his hat to, any Russian soldier. He proposed then, 'Our former enemies, but present friends, and may they be our lasting friends.'

The Vice-Chairman (Mr. J. King) then rose and said they were assembled there to show respect to Major Jenyns; but it was very doubtful if they would have been able to do so, had it not been for these brave soldiers, some of whom were standing before them (six Crimean and other soldiers were standing). Look at their bronzed faces; they were no feather-bed soldiers, and their medals showed what they had gone through, had it not been for the attachment, obedience and bravery of such men as these, we would never have enjoyed this day's pleasure.

There was an old saying in Bottisham that their soldiers were brave ones, and another, that they were fortunate. He hoped they would continue to be so; but whilst the laurels they had earned were spoken of, they must not forget those who had fallen. Two youths from Bottisham had passed safely through Alma and Inkerman; but in another engagement one of them lost both his legs, and the other died of his wounds on the way home. When the mother received their medals, she wept, and said, 'I only wish they were here to wear them.' How deeply he could sympathise with that.

By way of anecdote he might mention that there was one of the men present who said, after the war had commenced, that he was sure that the English, with the French, would gain the victory; and to show his belief in this, he resolved that no razor should touch his hoary old face until Sebastopol had fallen, and he faithfully kept that promise. (The man's name was James Pamplin, and he had a son who served in the Crimea [this was 1254 James Pamplin, 13th Light Dragoons], enlisted by Major Jenyns.) He had great pleasure in proposing 'The Health of the Soldiers before them.'

Major Jenyns returned thanks for the men, and was glad to call them his comrades. He then complimented each in turn, speaking of what services their regiments had rendered. Of James Pamplin, he said he had honoured his beard; he had enlisted that man's son, who went into the charge at Balaclava with 140 more, and was one of only 18 who came out.

He spoke very highly of the infantry, not one of whom he ever heard complain; they shouldered their arms and entered the trenches, just as they would have entered that room.

He then spoke of the storming of the Redan; he, being a cavalry officer had the good fortune just to look on. While the French had only ten yards to go to get into the Malakoff, the English had one hundred yards to go, up a slope, to get into the Redan. And, although the work seemed an impossibility, yet on they went, but with few reserves, until the ground was strewn with dead bodies, a sight that he would never forget, and it made him highly respect every one of the men who stood before him.

He begged to thank the company most sincerely for the way in which they had drunk to the health of his comrades...

Altogether, the day was to be long remembered by the people of Bottisham. Not only were those merry who obtained entrance to the school-room, there was an exuberance of joy and mirth throughout the village, and cheering and singing as the order of the evening. A barrel of ale was given away by Major Jenyns, and half a barrel by another gentleman, so that everyone might share in what maketh glad the heart. We are pleased to bear testimony to the good arrangements made through-out the evening, and also to the peaceful disposition of the inhabitants as not the slightest disturbance took place to require the interference of the police. May a blessing attend all who were engaged in this demonstration of joy.

The old School Hall in which he was welcomed by a banquet and presentation on his return from the Crimea in 1856 is still there and bears a tablet over an end window, "Bottisham National Church School. 1839."

Appointed Brigade-Major, Cavalry Brigade, at Shorncliffe, from the 4th of July 1856 to the 7th of August 1857.

Brigade-Major, Cavalry Brigade, at Aldershot, from the 8th of August 1857 to the 15th of February 1858.

Major in the 18th Hussars: 19th of February 1858.

1861 Census

9, Anglesea Cres., Alverstoke, Hants.

Florence Jenyns, born 1869 Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Lieutenant-Colonel, and assumed the command of the 13th Light Dragoons: 24th of May 1861.

Brevet-Colonel, 13th Light Dragoons: 24th of May 1866.

SGJ is mentioned in number of passages:

On the power of the revolver:

At the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava, Colonel Jenyns, C.B., 13th Hussars, who was at that time a captain in the same regiment, while making his way back during the retreat to the English lines, on a horse which was mortally wounded, was intercepted by three Russian cavalry, an officer and two men. His horse was so weak from loss of blood that he could not use his sword, so he drew his revolver, and held the whole three at bay for some time. At length the officer made a dash in upon him with his sabre, but the colonel shot him before he came within reach of him. The other two molested him no further, and he reached the lines safely (pp.70-71).

On what to wear on the head:

There is nothing more useless than a tall heavy shako or busby. The weight of them with the plume acts with great effect on the dragoon than it would on a dismounted soldier, for the shaking and plunging of the horse, as well as the resistance of the air when moving fast, renders the wearing of them excessively painful. I have worn both styles of head-dress, and can speak from experience as to the sensation of torture endured in wearing them *

Footnote * Colonel Jenyns, 13th Hussars, while reading the manuscript, made the following memorandum, which I insert in full, as the opinion of an officer of far greater experience than myself. I have never been able to become accustomed to the weight on my head, and whenever possible, have shirked wearing the shako or busby. There is no doubt, however, that a busby would be a protection to the head, which a forage cap would not:

"I have worn, during twenty-three years' service at home and in the field on active service in all climates, shako very light and no plume; ditto very heavy with a plume two feet high, cloth helmet like a hunting cap, forage cap, cocked hat, and busby; and for service would prefer a tolerable-sized busby without plume, with a plume for parade. A busby properly made keeps off more sun than any other head-dress, is as warm as fur cap in winter, and resists a sword cut even more than a helmet. S.G.J., Col." (p.8)

On the non-pivot system:

In everything, except the pivot system in the field movements and the double rank, the instructions in the 'Regulations' are quite sufficient for the Heavy Cavalry or cavalry of the line; but, as the non-pivot drill has not yet come generally into use, I have applied to Colonel Jenyns for a copy of his system, by which he instructs his regiment. With great kindness and courtesy he has complied with my request, and I have inserted in the Appendix his reply in full, detailing his whole system. I cannot urge too strongly upon my readers the advantage of studying attentively these ideas and practical remarks of one of the most gallant and distinguished cavalry officers in the British Army. (p.105).

The reference online:

706. Modern cavalry : its organisation, armament, and employment in war : with an appendix containing letters from Generals Fitzhugh Lee, Stephen D. Lee, and T.L. Rosser, of the Confederate States' cavalry, and Col. Jenyns' system of non-pivot drill in use in the 13th hussars.

Sep 11, 2007. Denison, George T. (George Taylor), 1839-1925; Denison, George T. (George Taylor), 1839-1925., (autograph); Edgar, James David, Sir, 1841-1899
(association) texts. RBSC copy 1: Author's presentation copy to James D. Edgar. Topic: Cavalry

Retired, and on to half-pay: 4th of December 1871.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Balaclava, Inkerman and Sebastopol, the Turkish Medal, Order of the Medjidie, 5th Class, and was appointed a C.B. on the 12th of December 1854 [date surely wrong?].

Further detailed medal information archived.



Marriage registration

Soame Gambier Jenyns married Anna Kita [presumably Rita], York, January Quarter 1859.

[Source: England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915, Soame Gambier Jenyns, 1859 Q1-Jan-Feb-Mar [9 d 17] [PB]J

Life after service

His London home was 49, Redcliffe Gardens, South Kensington, London.

In 1871, he was living with his family at The Mount, Micklegate, York.


13th Hussars — Major FitzRoy Donald Maclean to be Lietenant-Colonel. by purchase, vice Brevet-Colonel Soame Gambier Jenyns, C.B., who retires upon half pay, receiving a portion of the difference between the former and present value of cavalry commissions [meaning?]...

[Source: Army and Navy Gazette, 4 February 1871. Coincidentally, Charles Wooden, now 5th Lancers, retired on half pay at the same time. [PB]]

1871 Census

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1871 Census

The Mount, Micklegate, York.

Soame G Jenyns, C.B., Companion of the Bath, 45, Colonel on half pay 13th Hussars, Cambridgeshire, Bottisham Hall.

Anna Jenyns, 39, Wife of Officer in Army, Yorkshire, Skelton.

Ada M Jenyns, 10, Surrey, Aldershot

Florence Jenyns, 2, Canada, Toronto

Ann Hewison, Nurse, Servant, 21

Jane Chepchase, Cook, Servant, 37

Margaret Watson, Servant, 24

Mary A Tupman, Servant, 17

Joseph Robinson, Servant, 23

Andrew Waters, late Batman, unmarried, 33, Corporal 13th Hussars on Furlough, b. Buckinghamshire

James Harris, unmarried, 29, Private 13th Hussars on Furlough, b. Hertfordshire? Herefordshire?



Jenyns is written "Jeyns" throughout. An "n" has been added to SGJ's name.

"Nurse" — to whom? The children, or him?

Who, then, was the third daughter ("Ethel Jenyns") mentioned in Ada's marriage report? A sister-in-law? Simply a journalistic error?

It is interesting that two of his former batmen were visiting.


Roger Fenton, "Colonel Doherty, officers and men, 13th Light Dragoons (1855)".

Albumen silver photograph, 14.1 18.9 cm. (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, online at http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/8312/)

The figure generally accepted to be Soame Gambier Jenyns is in profile, looking to the viewer's left, with a pipe.

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Clicking on this image will enlarge it somewhat. There is a high resolution image here.

A dog of the 13th Light Dragoons, probably a black spaniel, in a photograph by Roger Fenton. The seated officer looking fondly down at the dog is Captain Soame Gambier Jenyns. Notice the long pipe in both photographs.

[PB: Roy Dutton wrongly identifies him as the short man behind Colonel Doherty's left shoulder, but this cannot be so (too short, wrong cap). When he was feted at Bottisham in 1856 (above) SGJ was described as "a fine-built soldier, of good features and rather imposing appearance".]

[add details of source, LOC, Washington].

Soame Gambier Jenyns. Check source.

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Soame Gambier Jenyns, carte de visite by W.T. & R. Gowland, York, 1860s. National Portrait Gallery mw135334.

Note: The cropped version at the top of this page was edited in Photoshop by PB.

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Soame Gambier Jenyns, albumen carte de visite by Caldesi, Blanford & Co., circa 1861, 3 1/2 in. x 2 1/4 in. (90 mm x 57 mm). National Portrait Gallery, NPG Ax77086.

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Portrait, presumably printed in an as yet unidentified book.

[Photograph: EJBA neg_340-17a, unknown date.

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Orlando Norie: SGJ on manoeuvres, 1865

Norie, Orlando, "The Thirteenth Hussars on manoeuvres under Lieut. Colonel S.G. Jenyns, C.B." (1865). [Detail: full image below.]

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Death & burial

Soame Gambier Jenyns died suddenly at Much Wenlock, Shropshire, on the 26th of November 1873, aged 47 years. At this time he was holding the appointment of Assistant Adjutant-General at the Horse Guards.

Soame Gambier Jenyns, 47, Madeley [Shropshire], October Quarter 1873.

[Source: England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915, 1873, Q4-Oct-Nov-Dec. [PB]J

[PB: His death, at a relatively young age, was attributed to "Congestion of the Liver and probaly ulceration and perforation of the Bowells" [sic]." I am grateful to Adam Burns-Mace for this information, Jan. 2019. I thought initially this might imply he drank heavily, byt ABM reports that congestion of the liver appears to be 'dysfunction due to venous congestion, usually due to congestive heart failure' (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congestive_hepatopathy).]

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He was buried in the family vault in Bottisham Church on the 3rd of December 1873, a party of 100 men and the Band of the regiment travelling by rail from Colchester to attend the funeral. A brass memorial tablet was later placed on the North Wall of Bottisham Church by "His Relatives, Friends, and Brother Officers".

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Window and reredos, Bottisham Church.

[Photograph: EJBA neg_146-20, unknown date.

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From the Naval and Military Gazette, 29th of January 1876:

"A memorial window and reredos have been erected in Bottisham Church to the late Colonel Jenyns, C.B. who for many years had commanded the 13th Hussars.

A tablet bears the inscription:

"To the Glory of God. — The East Window and Reredos of this Church were erected by relations, friends, and brother-officers in memory of Colonel Soame Gambier Jenyns, C.B. Assistant Adjutant-General at Headquarters and late of the 13th Hussars; eldest surviving son of George Jenyns of Bottisham Hall.

He served in the Army for twenty years, including the Crimean War, and was one of the survivors of the Balaclava Charge in 1854. Born February 4th 1826 — Died November 26th 1873. Buried in the family vault. By his death a much valued officer was lost to the country." The window is a fine early English triplet and the reredos, which is of clunc [sic] and richly carved, contains a highly finished central canopy in which is placed a very fine altar cross."

The vault in which he is interred is in the middle of the church, near the pulpit, and apart from the representation of a medieval figure bears no indication as to who is buried there, although various plaques and monuments around the walls say who is.

Apart from the tablet already known to him, there is one apparently to his brother, which reads:

"To the Glory of God and in loving memory of the Reverend Charles Fitzgerald Gambier Jenyns of Bottisham Hall. For 21 years Vicar of Melbourne, Cambridgeshire, and 30 years Vicar of Knebworth, Hertfordshire. Born November 30th 1827 — Died 26th January 1888."

And also one to the Revd C.F.G. Jenyns's second son:

"Gerald Bulwer Jenyns, Resident Engineer, East India Railways. Born February 16th 1860 — Died of fever at Calcutta, June 19th 1900." They rest from the labours. This brass was erected by their widows and children."

From the Cambridge Chronicle, Isle of Ely Herald and the Huntingdonshire Gazette, 6th of December 1873:

Colonel Soame Jenyns

Little more than seventeen years have passed since we had the honour of recording the proceedings in connection with the presentation of a testimonial to the above gallant gentleman, then Major Jenyns, in recognition of the distinguished services which he had rendered in the immortal Balaclava Charge, during the Crimean War in the year 1854.

It may not be generally remembered that Major Jenyns was one of the "Six Hundred" and rode into the "jaws of death", that he had a horse killed under him, and was one of the few who came out alive from that terrible mistake.

On returning from the war, Major Jenyns had visited the place of his birth, and it was then that a spontaneous feeling of admiration for his gallant conduct found vent in the presentation of a dress sword as a testimonial from those who had known and esteemed him in his boyhood.

The ceremony, preceded by a dinner, took place in the school-room at Bottisham in September of 1856, and we well remember the goodly company which gathered in delight to do honour to so noble a man and soldier.

The sword (which alas we saw in another place this week [PB: meaning?]) was then presented with a feeling address by the Revd. J. Hailstone, the Vicar of the parish. We remember too, how this address, starting with grateful thanks to Divine Providence for having spared their friend and neighbour through all the trials and dangers of the war, and assured the hero of the day how anxiously they had, in the progress of the dreadful events, watched for the name of Soame Jenyns, and with what feelings of gladness they had welcomed his return.

At the same time it expressed their admiration and deep gratitude for all they had felt for his brave service to their country, paid due honour to him who had never flinched from duty in the day of trial and begged of him to accept the sword as a mark of their warm approval of his conduct and as a token of their unanimous and cordial goodwill.

Nor will those who were present in that school-room forget the volley of cheers which succeeded every mention of the word "Balaclava," or of the words of the Vicar when he described the Major's courage as being characterised by those distinguishing marks of true greatness: modesty and affection.

In receiving the trophy the gallant gentleman had fully exhibited that modesty in refraining from "singing his own praises," as he so well put it, preferring to tell of the men under him doing their duty in every way during that memorable onslaught, and of the question which had run along all their ranks, "What will they say in England?"

His concluding remarks in that speech were these — "Depend upon it, when a man faces what seems to be certain death, that is the time when affections show themselves in their true colours, that is the time when you find where your true wishes are, and that is — Home.

In the year 1861, Major Jenyns was promoted to a Lieutenant-Colonelcy, and to a Colonelcy five years later. Whilst down shooting at Lord Wenlock's seat in Shropshire, Colonel Jenyns was taken ill on the 18th of November last, and unexpectedly expired at Bourton Lodge [PB: see note below] on the 26th.

The Army and Navy Gazette speaks thus of him:

"The Adjutant-General's Department has lost an excellent officer in Colonel Soame Jenyns, C.B., whose death has occurred at the seat of Lord Wenlock.

Colonel Jenyns entered the Army as a Cornet, December 30th 1845; obtained his Lieutenancy, September 24th 1847; became a Captain, December 20th 1859 [typo? Presumably 1849, though 1850 is also mentioned]; Brevet-Major, December 12th 1854; Major, February 19th 1858; Lieutenant-Colonel, May 24th 1861 and Colonel, May 24th 1866.

He served in the Eastern campaign of 1854-56, including the reconnaissance of the Danube under Lord Cardigan (in charge of a squadron), battles of Balaclava (horse shot) Inkerman and Tchernya, and siege of Sebastopol, was with the Light Brigade in Eupatoria, (Medal and three clasps, 5th Class of the Medjidie and Turkish medal.)

He was the senior officer of the 13th Light Dragoons when retiring after the battle of Balaclava, and reformed the Regiment, for which he received the Brevet of Major and appointed a Companion of the Bath. He commanded the 13th Hussars during their late tour in Canada, returning with them to England in 1869.

He went on half-pay in February of 1871, handing over the regiment to Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzroy Maclean.

The Queen and country have lost an accomplished and zealous soldier, and an officer whose experience and knowledge of his own arm of the Service could not be exceeded, whilst the Horse Guards have been deprived of the services of such men as MacKenzie and Jenyns by untimely death, and has had to part with some of the most efficient members of its staff, will find itself hard-pressed in this moment of stress and anxiety.

Colonel Jenyn's was down shooting at Lord Wenlock's, and as he had been indisposed for a very short time, his death may be regarded as sudden."

Bourton Manor, for sale in 2019

Photographs: Savills.

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The following is an extract from the Regimental Orders of November 30th to the 13th Hussars, then stationed at Colchester:

"It is with the deepest regret that the Commanding officer notifies to the Regiment the sudden demise of Col. Jenyns, Assistant Adjutant-General at Headquarters.

It is not needed for the present Lieutenant-Colonel to call to mind the high acquirements and soldier-like talents of their departed comrade. These are already well-known and appreciated, and his memory will always be intimately connected with some of the brightest records of the Corps, and independently of the many qualities which endeared him to all, his name, as especially connected with having brought out the survivors of the 13th Light Dragoons from the charge of the "Six Hundred" can never pass away.

In the sad death of Colonel Jenyns all ranks will feel that they have lost a true friend in having him taken away from them, and the motto of his old regiment will fitly express the record of his life.

The Commanding Officer feels assured that everyone connected with the 13th Hussars, past and present, will lament his loss, and as a slight tribute to his memory it is requested that mourning will be worn by the Regiment for one month from this date — "Veret in Aetertum." [Viret in Aeternum: It flourishes forever. Error in the original or in the transcription?

In accordance with the above order, officers will wear the following mourning for one month: the usual crepe on the left arm, and black gloves when on duty.

John Miller,

Lieut.-Colonel Commanding 13th Hussars."


"The funeral of the late Colonel took place at Bottisham on Wednesday, attended with all due military honours. A special train from Colchester brought to Cambridge 130 men and the Band of the late Colonel's old regiment (the 13th Hussars) who were under the command of Captain Pole.

They were conveyed to Bottisham in various vehicles supplied by Mr. Moyes of the Lion Hotel, Cambridge, and on arriving at the Hall were entertained by some light refreshment prior to the funeral.

At one o'clock the soldiers were marched out in front of the Hall, a firing party of thirty taking up their position immediately opposite to the principal entrance, and the band standing about thirty paces to the left. When the plumed hearse was about to receive its burthen, the firing party presented, and then reversed arms.

The passing bell was heard in the distance, and the firing party started on a most solemn march about ten paces from each other. The procession having been formed, the Band commenced playing the Dead March in "Saul," the muffled beating of the drums having a most solemn effect.

Immediately following the band came the Revd. Hugh Huleatt, of Chelsea Hospital, who was the Chaplain attached to the regiment with which Colonel Jenyns served in the Crimea.

Behind the hearse came 'Ben', the favourite chestnut charger of the deceased, which was with him in the conflict to which allusion has been made. The faithful old horse, which has now seen the light of a quarter of a century, was mournfully caparisoned, according to the custom in military funerals; his head being surmounted with white plumes, his body hidden by a black pall relieved by white bows, and the boots of his late master thrown across the saddle. 'Ben' was led by the only two men now left in the regiment who had served with the late Colonel in the Crimea. [PB: Who were they?]

Succeeding several officers on foot (amongst whom were noted John Miller, Edward Lennox Jervis and Arthur Tremayne) came four mourning coaches containing the immediate members of the family. Then followed about 100 soldiers and other private carriages, with which the procession concluded.

On reaching the inner Park gates, the band ceased playing and a quicker step was taken up until the village was reached, when the slow march was resumed, and the Band played Beethoven's 'Dead March' for some time, finishing at the church with the March in 'Saul'.

The corpse was met at the Churchyard gate by the Vicar, with whom was the Military Chaplain, and as the mournful cortege entered the church, the organist commenced playing the 'Dead March'. The outer coffin, of polished oak, with brass breast-plate, was as yet hidden by the pall, on which lay the Colonel's hat, the dress sword to which reference has already been made, and several beautiful wreaths, which had been sent by the widow (Mrs. Jenyns) by Colonel Jenyn's sister (Mrs. Young) and by Colonel Jenyn's children.

The chief mourners took up their places opposite the pulpit and reading desk, both of which were covered in sombre cloth, and the soldiery occupied the whole of the seats in the nave. All the other parts of the church were closely packed with people, and many were unable to obtain any entrance to the sacred edifice whatsoever.

When quietness had been restored, the Vicar continued with the beautiful service for the Burial of the Dead, being assisted by the Chaplain, who read most impressively the appointed lesson from the epistle to the Corinthians. The choir having then sung the well-known hymn commencing, "Brief life is here our portion," the coffin was lowered into the family vault, adjacent to the pulpit and extending under the South aisle, where the Vicar committed the body to the tomb.

At the conclusion of the service the organ commenced playing a dirge, the firing party stationed outside of the church fired the customary three volleys, a flourish of trumpets rent the air; and then friends — both civil and military — with reluctant and heavy hearts went their way, now fully realising the early separation of so kind a companion and so gallant a comrade.

Previous to the return to Colchester Barracks, the Hussars partook of a substantial meal at the Lion Hotel. The fact of it being a military funeral together with the respect and esteem entertained for the deceased soldier, caused many hundreds of people to congregate; yet there was no want of decorum manifested, and the best of order was kept by an effective staff of the county constabulary, under the direction of Deputy Chief Constable Stretton, with whom was Superintendent Benson.

It has been suggested that an East Window should be placed in the Parish Church as a permanent memorial to the late Colonel and a handsome donation has already been promised for this purpose."

In December 2014, SGJ was named in an article about stained glass in Cambridgeshire churches:

Cambridgeshire's most stunning stained glass windows in pictures

By Cambridge News | Posted: December 24, 2014

Cambridgeshire's churches are full of history, rich in architecture — and boast some world-class stained glass. To celebrate Christmas, we look at five of our favourites.

[3] Landmark case: Holy Trinity, Bottisham

Holy Trinity in Bottisham must be among the most admired churches in the county: spotlit at night, it's impossible to miss.

The over-altar window portrays the passion of Christ. Installed in 1875, in tribute to one Colonel Gambier-Jenyns, who'd survived the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, it's framed by intricate marble-inlaid arches; the effect is arresting.

The oldest parts of Holy Trinity date from the early 13th century. Major changes were made to the building in the early 14th century, resulting in numerous good examples of the Decorated style.

[Source http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/pictures/Cambridgeshire-s-stunning-stained-glass-windows/pictures-25761295-detail/pictures.html(accessed 26.12.2014).]

PB: He is mentioned in the Wikipedia article about Bottisham, and PB has now linked his name to this page [December 2014].

A letter from SGJ to Charles Goad is included in a collection of three Charge-related letters acquired by the BL 2001-2002:

Title: Charge of the Light Brigade. Three letters relating to the Charge of the Light Brigade, with an envelope containing flowers picked from the battlefield, and a note relating to plans for the attack on Sebastapol; 1854-1855.

Item 1 was bequeathed by Miss Carolyn Manovill of New York, Aug. 2001; items 2 and 3 were purchased from Roy Davids Ltd, Apr. 2002 and Jan.2003. Paper.

1. Letter from Capt. Soame Jenyns (b. 1826, d. 1873), 13th Light Dragoons, to Charles Goad; 'Balaklava', 27 Oct. [1854]. Jenyns describes the Charge of the Light Brigade and expresses concern for Goad's brother, Thomas Howard (b. 1827, d. 1854), a captain in the same regiment. [T.H. Goad was, in fact, killed in the Charge]. He also refers to 'Maxy', Cornet George Maxwell Goad, a third brother (b. 1834, d. 1894) also of the 13th Light Dragoons. With an envelope containing flowers subsequently picked from the battlefield, annotated "Sent to us by my dear Maxwell. AEB." 'Maxwell' is Cornet Goad. 'AEB' is the Goad brothers' mother, Anne Elizabeth Bradford, who married her second husband, Gen. Sir Thomas Bradford, in 1840. Jenyns makes reference in his letter to "poor Lady Bradford".

[Source: www.bl.uk/collection-items/three-letters-relating-to-the-charge-of-the-light-brigade (accessed 21.11.2015). The letters can be viewed online.]

PB: His medals came up for auction at Spink, 21 July 2005.

Colonel Soame Gambier Jenyns C.B. (1826-73), of Bottisham Hall, Cambridgeshire; Cornet 1845; Lieutenant 1847; Captain 1850; embarked for the Crimea 8.5.1854; took part in the Reconnaisance on the Danube under Lord Cardigan (in command of the Squadron of 13 Light Dragoons), was present at the affairs of Bulganak and M'Kenzies Farm. Commanded B Troop in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava 25 October. As the senior surviving officer, he assumed command of the Regiment after the Charge.

The Manuscript Regimental Record of the Charge gives the following brief account:

In a letter to Charles Goad, brother of Captain Howard Goad who fell in the charge, Jenyns records:

(This letter, with a posy of pressed fresh flowers picked from the battlefield a few days after the Charge, was recently bequeathed to the British Library by an American collector.)

In another letter Jenyns wrote afterwards,

Captain Percy Smith, also of the 13th Dragoons, wrote

Jenyns was appointed Brevet-Major 12.12.1854 and on his return to England was briefly with the Cavalry Brigade and as Major with the 18 Hussars before taking up command as Lieutenant Colonel 13 Light Dragoons 24.5.1861; Brevet-Colonel 1866, and Assistant Adjutant General, Horse Guards; Colonel Jenyns died 26.11.1873 at the family seat at Bottisham and is buried in the family vault at Bottisham church where there is also a window dedicated to his memory in the chancel east wall.

[Source: www.spink.com/lot-description.aspx?id=5012568 (accessed 21.11.2015)]

References & acknowledgements

The editors are very grateful to Sylvia McClintock for information about SGJ's parents and wider family, cited above, which has prompted further research.

Further information

1881 Census

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1881 Census

Paddocks residence, Rawcliffe, York.

Anna R. Jenyns, Colonel's Widow 49.

Ada M. Jenyns, 20.

Florence Jenyns, 12.

Elizabeth Wright, Cook, 39.

Annie Feilding, Lady's Maid, 18.

Rebecca Amos, Housemaid, 21.


Rawcliffe hamlet, which is small, is 2 ½ miles N.W. from York.

Rawcliffe Paddocks, established in 1852, for breeding blood stock, is the property of a number of gentlemen, called the Rawcliffe Joint Stock Stud Farm Company, who occupy 1,326 acres in Rawcliffe, Skelton, Wigginton, and Huby, called the Rawcliffe Stud Farm.

The extensive buildings, erected by the Company, are of brick, forming two squares, one within the other, the court of the inner square having a roof supported by four tall pillars. This pile of stabling is situated on the road side, 3 miles N.W. from York.

The Company can accommodate altogether, both at the new buildings and at the old paddocks, a short distance from them, no less than 280 horses in separate box stalls. The Company's manager is Mr. P.S.F. Martin.

[Source: T. Whellan, History and Topography of the City of York: And the North Riding ..., Volume 2 (N. Riding of Yorkshire, 1859). Online here.]

Ada Maria Jenyns

[PB: SGJ's elder daughter, Ada Maria, married Robert Jocelyn in 1882, a man with a military background comparable to her own father's. Under the name "", she wrote numerous novels, often with a sporting theme, including....]

Florence Jenyns

[PB: I have not found Florence Jenyns in the 1891 Census.

In 1901, Florence Jenyns, 32, was living with her sister and brother-in-law, Robert Jocelyn at Davenham House, Cheshire.

See Ancestry.com

Her death, at the age of 65, is recorded in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the December Quarter 1934.

She died 5th October 1934, leaving a substantial estate:

To follow up

The Thirteenth Hussars on manoeuvres under Lieut. Colonel S.G. Jenyns, C.B.

Orlando Norie, "The Thirteenth Hussars on manoeuvres under Lieut. Colonel S.G. Jenyns, C.B." (1865).

Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:229227/

[PB, Jan 2019: I am indebted to Adam Burns-Mace for sending a link to this picture.]

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The Thirteenth Hussars on manoeuvres under Lieut. Colonel S.G. Jenyns, C.B., 1865.

Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection

Norie, Orlando, 1832-1901 (artist)

Date Created: 1865

Abstract: 12th in coll. of original signed watercolors by Norie; large troop of mounted uniform figures riding with swords drawn in open country.

Oblong folio, 16 pieces, matted; no margins; clean.

London, Parker, '50-55. c. EGGp. N.Y., Rockman. CTd.

Extent: 1 watercolor; 48.3 x 32.4 cm.

Ceremonial sword exceeds expected price at auction

By Adrian Peel — adrian.peel@iliffemedia.co.uk

Published: 11:00, 09 January 2019

A weapon belonging to Cambridgeshire-born Major Soame Gambier Jenyns of the 13th Light Dragoons — a survivor of the famous Charge of the Light Brigade — was sold at Willingham Auctions at the weekend.

The presentation sword, which has the major's name inscribed on the blade, was given to the present, private owner by his grandfather and had been expected to fetch between £400-£800. It eventually sold for £3,400 on Saturday (January 5).

Soame Gambier Jenyns was a captain during the Charge of the Light Brigade on October 25, 1854, part of the Crimean War. When two senior offices were killed in the charge, Jenyns assumed command of the 13th, meaning it was his task to get the remaining troops back to British lines.

Born in 1826, the widely-respected SGJ was the son of George Jenyns, of Bottisham Hall, Cambridgeshire, and his wife Maria Jane, daughter of Sir James Gambier. He died suddenly — possibly after an asthma attack — at Much Wenlock, Shropshire, on November 26, 1873, aged 47. Soame Gambier Jenyns was buried in the family vault in Bottisham Church on December 3, 1873.

"The sword that once belonged to Major Soame Gambier Jenyns. Picture: Keith Heppell"

[AB-M: ""Presented by the parishioners of Bottisham and other friends to Soame Gambier Jenyns CB Major — 13 Light Dragoons, Crimea Balaklava September 5th 1856""

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Stephen Drake, auctioneer and valuer at Willingham Auctions, told the Cambridge Independent: "The sword was presented to this gentleman because he was a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade. He was a very famous man and, especially being local as well, it's quite an important thing. The historical value is brilliant and makes it an interesting lot to go into auction."

Stephen "It's a shame it wasn't the sword he took into battle," he said, "because obviously that would go for a phenomenal amount, but it's still an important piece of military history."

The sword belonging to this British military hero will be going up for auction on January 5, 2019, lot number 1101.


[Source: Cambridge Independent: "Sword belonging to Cambridgeshire-born Charge of the Light Brigade Survivor sells at auction", (accessed 10.1.2019).]

Willingham's auctioneer Stephen Drake holding SGJ's sword.

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