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LIVES OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
The E.J. Boys Archive

Added 2.5.2011. Minor edits 9.1.2014, 28.2.2014.

1386, Sergeant George SENIOR - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Kendal, Westmoreland.

Enlistment

Enlisted at York on the 1st of January 1849.

Age: 22.

Height: 5' 9".

Trade: Clerk.

Appearance: Fresh complexion. Blue eyes. Brown hair.

Service

From Private to Corporal: 1st of October 1852.

Corporal to Sergeant: 1st of October 1854.

At Scutari from the 4th of October 1854 and sent to rejoin the regiment in the Crimea on the 20th of 0ctober.

Balaclava 1st Feb, 1855

Dear Brother

I would have given anything to have been under a roof of slate during the night; the frost penetrates through the tent and freezes everything in it; our boots we are obliged to hold to the fire to thaw before we can put them on; the clothes which cover us are frozen or wet with the damp arising from the ground; but still, with few exceptions, our brigade has not suffered in health very much; still we have a great deal to contend with, but, thank God, the latter part of January we have had fine open weather - warm during the day and frosty nights - the snow having gradually disappeared; and we have now, to all appearance, not much to fear from the Emperor's second "general," for the weather is more than we could wish for, and I trust sincerely, that it may continue so.

With regards to the privations and hardships which we have had to endure, and which according to your letter has been represented as very severe, I can only say (speaking of our brigade) that we are not very badly off under present circumstances. That we have some hardships to contend with must be expected, but not of that severity which might be represented in the 'papers. We are certainly better off than when camped near to Inkerman, having no boots or winter covering, but thanks to the benevolence of or feeling countrymen, whom I have inwardly thanked hundreds of times - and I feel certain that there is not a soldier in the Crimea who has not expressed himself grateful for the many unexpected presents sent out to this country, and everything so good and serviceable that we can now defy the cold.

Every soldier cannot but feel the many compliments paid to their bravery, which so many deserve and which all share in, and which I feel certain is a great encouragement to further acts of daring which may yet be wanted. The Infantry divisions suffer much more than us, as night after night, they are in the trenches, which we are not, and being so many of them I dare say all have not yet been furnished with all their winter coverings, and the difficulty of transport from Balaclava to their encampment is the principal drawback to their getting many things which are now laying at that place, but every day fresh clothing for them is going up, but I question whether all will get what they are entitled to before the winter is over, wing to the latter reason.

I shall be glad when the campaign is over; but should it continue I am ready to go with my regiment, and, thank God, in most excellent health, never better; and if God in His goodness will continue to bless me with that blessing, which is the first in this world - health - I have no fear but I shall return to Old England, let the campaign be over so long.

[Source: http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/memoirs-charge-light-brigade-huddersfield-7194850, published 31.5.2014 (accessed 31.5.14).]

At Scutari on Staff Employ (attached to the 1st Dragoon Guards) from the 15th of December 1855.

Left at Scutari from the 3rd of May 1855 and rejoined the regiment on the 19th of June.

Appointed to Troop Sergeant Major on the 1st of January 1856.

Re-engaged at Edinburgh for a further 12 years service on the 25th of July 1860.

Promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major on the 18th of January 1869.

He was appointed manager of the Cavalry Brigade Canteen at Aldershot on the 1st of January 1873 and in September of 1874 was concerned in the Court-martial in which Riding-Master Crouch of the 19th Hussars was accused (and dismissed the service) for obtaining money from him "by means of cheques for which no funds were held by the bank".

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Aldershot on the 7th of June 1873, "By claim, after termination of second period of limited engagement."

In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years. Canada, 2 years 11 months.

Conduct: "very good indeed." Had he not been promoted would now be in possession of five Good Conduct badges.

Never entered in the Regimental Defaulters' book. Never tried by Court-martial.

Aged 46 years 2 months on discharge.

Awarded a pension of 2/6d. per day. Living in the South London Pension District in 1875.

Medals & commemorations

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

Documents confirm the award of the Long Service medal but make no mention of those for the Crimea.

Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal on the 7th of July 1869 with a Private's gratuity of £5. (Claimed £10.)

Life after service

1881 Census

Huddersfield Road, Lockwood, Yorkshire.

A "George Senior", aged 53, No Occupation, born at Kendal in Westmoreland, is shown living with an unmarried sister and two other relations.

1881 Census

Lockwood Rd, Lockwood, Huddersfield.

George Senior was "living on own means", with his wife Elizabeth, aged 62, born Linthwaite, Yorks. [RM]

Death & burial

Death registered

George Senior, aged 65, December Quarter 1892, Huddersfield. [RM]

Likenesses

RM: A photograph of an RSM of the 13th Hussars appeared in "Regiment" magazine in August 2005. He is shown in uniform wearing Crimean and Long Service & Good Conduct medals. Given the details known of George Senior, it would seem that this is indeed a portrait.


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