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

Added 3.5.11. Minor edits 2.3.14, 20.8.14.

1515, Private Charles (Christopher) Warren - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in Lambeth, London.

The baptism of a "Charles Warren" is shown in the Parish Records of St. Mary's, Lambeth, on the 13th of April 1823, the son of Thomas Warren, a Waterman, and his wife, Sarah. His parents were in the Lambeth Workhouse at the time. Several other children were born into the family, all seemingly while Thomas Warren was in the Workhouse.

A John Warren was baptised at St. Mary's on the 5th of July 1818, when his father was described as a "Seaman".

In the records of the Norwood Nursery and Industry School there is an entry dated the 6th of March 1821, which shows a Mary Warren, aged 9 years, Father, Thomas Warren, a "Sailor" [sic], and Mother, Sarah Warren, of the Lambeth Workhouse, formerly living at No. 1 or 2, Cross Street, Borough.

Another brother was almost certainly the James Warren baptised on the 4th of March 1821 at St Mary's, Lambeth, the son of Thomas Warren, Waterman, and his wife Sarah, from the Lambeth Workhouse. He later served in the 3rd Light Dragoons as No. 1309.

A "Thomas Warren" died in the Lambeth Workhouse, aged 82, and was buried in St. Mary's churchyard on the 15th of September 1846. [Possibly too old to have been their father?]

Enlistment

Enlisted into the 3rd Light Dragoons for "unlimited service" at Maidstone on the 30th of May 1842. Regimental No. 1317.

Age: 17 years 2 months. (Shown as "under age" to the 31st of March 1843.)

Height: 5' 6".

Trade: Labourer.

Appearance: Sallow complexion. Hazel eyes. Brown hair.

Service

Transferred to the 13th Light Dragoons on the 1st of July 1853.

Left at Varna when the regiment left for the Crimea proper, at Scutari General Hospital from the 24th and sent to rejoin the regiment on the 3rd of October 1854.

Taken prisoner of war during the Charge at Balaclava, 25th October 1854.

Rejoined the regiment from Russian captivity on the 26th of October 1855.

He was shown on a nominal roll of men of the Regiment made out at the Cavalry Depot, Scutari on the 9th of November 1855 as being a Prisoner of War there from the 4th of November.

Tried by a Garrison Court-martial at Scutari on the 10th of November 1855 for "having been taken a prisoner of war at Balaclava during the Charge of the Light Brigade - of which he was honourably acquitted."

Transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Military Train on the 1st of November 1856. Regimental No. 932.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Woolwich on the 26th of June 1867, "At his own request, to pension after 24 years service."

Served 24 years 101 days. In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years. India, 11 years 4 months.

Conduct and character: "Exemplary."

In possession of five Good Conduct badges.

He was in the receipt of 2d. per day "good swordsmanship" allowance during his service.

Aged 42 years 3 months on discharge.

To live in Ordnance Road, Woolwich. No wife or family are recorded as being with him when discharged, only the normal Discharge Allowance of 20/- being shown, so he was most probably "Living Out" before this.

Charles Warren was serving in No. 7 Troop of the 2nd Battalion Military Train after its return from India and transferred to the Woolwich Camp of the Military Train on the 20th of March 1866. Most of the men from this appear to have been employed in the Woolwich Arsenal in various capacities.

Medals

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

Sutlej medal with clasps for Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur and Sobraon.

Punjab medal with clasps for Chilianwala and Goojerat. Served during the whole of the campaign in the Punjab up to the occupation of Peshawar.

A request was sent from the War Office to the East India Company's medallists that he "be issued with a replacement Sutlej medal with clasps for Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur and Sobraon and the Punjab medal with clasps for Chilianwala and Goojerat, both at "public expense." The medals were sent to the Treasury on the 17th of April 1856.

Mutiny medal with clasps for Lucknow and the Relief of Lucknow.

Served with the force under H. E. the Commander-in-Chief at Lucknow and with that under Major Genl. Sir James Outran at Alum Bagh.

Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal on the 22nd of February 1865, with a gratuity of £5.

Commemorations

Attended the first Balaclava Banquet in 1875.

Life after service

Death & burial

Died from "Chronic bronchitis" at Plumstead, Kent, on the 28th of September 1880, aged 54 years.

Extract from the Kentish Independent, 2nd of October 1880:

"One of the Six Hundred."

"Charles Warren, formerly of the Military Train and previously a trooper in the Light Cavalry, died at his residence, 12 Walmer Road, Plumstead, on Tuesday last, aged 54 years. He has already been the subject of several paragraphs in this journal on account of his having been one of the few who escaped out of the noble Six Hundred in the Charge at Balaclava."

EJB: A check of the newspaper for the previous two years shows no mention of him.

Following intensive research by the present owner of his surviving medals [1980s?] his death certificate shows that he died from "Chronic bronchitis" at 12, Walmer Road, Plumstead, Kent, aged 54 years, on the 28th of September 1880. He was described as a "Pensioner from the Military Train". His widow, Ester [sic?] Warren, was present at and the informant of his death. (There is a copy of the death certificate, from which it would appear he had been twice married, in the 13th Hussar file.)

It is also known from him that the burial records of St. Nicholas's Church at Plumstead, London, show that Warren was buried in the churchyard there on the 2nd of October 1880, his abode being given as Walmer Road, and aged 54 years, the ceremony being performed by the Revd. J. A. Mallister.

The original churchyard covers a very small area, and the separate part was hit by a V2 rocket during World War Two and totally destroyed. It has now been landscaped and made into what is now known as St. Nicholas's Gardens. Some two hundred of the original tombstones have been placed around the walls, but being now almost covered by shrubbery it is almost impossible to find any particular one. (See photographs of the church and churchyard in the 13th Light Dragoons file.)

Charles Warren [son] and Esther Warren [wife]

A son, Charles Joseph, entered the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea, on the 2nd of October 1871, aged 7 years and three months. His father was shown as "Still alive," but his mother, Margaret, as "Dead".

He enlisted into the A. S. C. [?] on the 16th of November 1878 and joining the 14th Company at Aldershot, his Regimental No. being 2207. He attained the age of 15 years and on to "Man's pay" from the 9 July 1879. The December 1879 muster roll for his particular Company shows, however, "Not on Depot Pay", and a check of the musters for 1880 covering all the Companies of the Corps shows no further trace of him. (See later reference to a Charles Warren being in Plumstead Workhouse in 1885. This could have been him, having been discharged from the Army at some unknown date.)

Workhouse Registers at the Greater London Council Record Office show that his son, Charles, then aged 20, and a labourer, was in the Workhouse for two weeks in January-February of 1885 (From St. George's Union), his nearest relative then being shown as his step-mother, Elizabeth [sic] of 12, Walmer Road, Plumstead.

She herself was in the Workhouse in 1892 for six months (as Esther Warren) when she was sent to the Infirmary and again for a further two shorter periods in 1893 and 1895, when on each occasion she again went into the Infirmary, her nearest relative being shown as, "Son, William, address not known." (This was probably a son from her first marriage.) On the first occasion she was described as then being 69 years of age, a "Seamstress" and later as a "Needlewoman". Her religion was shown as C. of E.

A check of the St. George's Union records show that Charles Warren (Junior) was there on three occasions between October of 1884 and the 22nd of January 1885, when he was transferred to the Woolwich Union. At the St. George's Union he was shown as having been born in 1864 and a "Labourer" by trade.

A check of the GRO registers shows a Charles Joseph Warren recorded as born in the Farnham, Surrey, District, in the July-September quarter of 1864 and a Margaret Warren as dying in the same District, aged 46 years, during the April-June quarter of 1866. There is also a Margaret Warren recorded as dying at Woolwich, aged 33 years, during the April-June quarter of 1869. It seems most unlikely that the latter was Charles Warren's first wife, seeing that his second marriage was during September of 1869.

A check of the local church register of St. Margaret's, Plumstead (by then amalgamated with St. Nicholas's), shows that Charles Warren had remarried on the 11th of September 1869, "after banns". Shown as a "Widower", and a "Tailor" by trade (the Muster Returns before his discharge show him as "Working in the Tailor's Shop), his bride was Esther Taylor, a "Widow". His father was shown as Thomas Warren, also a "Tailor", and hers as David Brown, a "Painter". Both bride and groom signed the Register, as did one witness, Henry Wood, but the other, Mary Donoghue, made her "Mark".

A James Taylor was buried in St. Nicholas's churchyard on the 20th of May 1867, aged 58. His abode was given as 67, Burrage Lane. This man could have been her first husband, and an Esther Elizabeth A. Warren is shown in the St. Catherine's House records as dying in the Woolwich District, aged 70 years, during the July-September quarter of 1895, aged 70 years. This lady - from her given age - could well have been Charles Warren's second wife.

The old Plumstead Workhouse was given a new title when it became St. Nicholas's Hospital (now closed) and should Esther Warren have died in the Infirmary there, would have been buried in either Woolwich or Plumstead Cemeteries and would explain why no trace of her can be found in the St. Nicholas churchyard records.

James Warren [brother]

His brother, 1309 James Warren, enlisted into the 3rd Light Dragoons at London on the 17th of October 1839. Shown as being born at Lambeth, London, he was 5' 9" in height, aged 18 years 6 months, and a labourer by trade.

He was discharged, "at his own request", having served 24 years 25 days, at Edinburgh on the 30th of November 1863. His character was "very good," having only two entries in the Defaulter's Book and had never been tried by Court-martial. Intending to live at 7, Church Lane, Church Street, Battersea, London (according to the Census he was no longer living at this address in 1871.)

In possession of two medals for service in the field (with clasps for Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur and Sobraon, and for Chilianwala and Goojerat), the Long Service & Good Conduct medal (1st of July 1862), and five Good Conduct badges. His documents also state that he was "With the Army of the East" from May 1854 to August 1855.

The muster rolls of the General Depot at Scutari show that he had joined there on the 16th of December 1854. and is listed at the bottom of a page referring to the 4th Light Dragoons, but nothing to say where he had come from. That for January/March of 1855 shows him as still being in the Hospital (att. 4th LD) and for April/June as being at Kulali Hospital. There are no entries for him in any further musters.

The Muster Rolls of the 3rd Light Dragoons show that he was "On Special Service to the East, attached to the 49th Foot", from the 13th of April 1854, in subsequent ones as "On service in Turkey, attached 49th Foot, and finally "Rejoined from Varna, 1st of May 1855, ex Pay List 49th Foot". The 49th Foot Musters show no trace of him to July of 1856, when they returned from the Crimea, so it has proved impossible to say in what capacity he was employed in this regiment.)


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