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1119, Private George WILDE - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in the parish of St. Margaret's, Norwich.


Enlisted at Norwich on the 27th of August 1842.

Age: 18 years 5 months.

Height: 5' 8".

Trade: Plasterer.

Appearance: Fair complexion. Grey eyes. Lt. brown hair.


Slightly wounded in action at Balaclava.

From Private to Corporal: 16th of December 1855.

Transferred to the 4th Battalion of the Military Train as Corporal vide War Office Authority, dated the 14th of October, on the 1st of November 1856. Regimental No. 1002.

Resigned to Private on the 1st of July 1857.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, on the 26th of February 1867:

"Found unfit for further service. Has Chronic Rheumatism. Disease did not exist before enlistment and is therefore the result of long service and exposure - has broken-down constitution which will materially affect his ability to earn his livelihood".

Served 24 years 157 days. In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years. New Zealand, 2 years 2 months.

Conduct: "Exemplary."

In possession of four Good Conduct badges.

Once entered in the Regimental Defaulter's book. Never tried by Court-martial.

Medals & commemorations

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

His name appears on a "Supplementary List of Officers and men Entitled to the New Zealand Medal but now no longer serving with the Regiment, per General Order" (no date). Is shown as having served with the regiment in that country from the 18th of March 1863 to May of 1864 and being "Discharged, invalided."

Documents confirm the award of the Crimean medal with four clasps, Turkish Medal, and the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. There is no mention of the New Zealand medal.

Can find no trace on the New Zealand Medal roll.

Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal.

Life after service

See copy of the document admitting him as a Freeman of the City of Norwich on the 20th of October 1868 in the 13th Hussar files. His father was granted the same honour on the 24th of February 1819.

1881 Census

35, Gladstone Street, Heigham [i.e. near Heigham Road?], Norwich

The 1881 Census shows him as a Private, Chelsea Pensioner, aged 57, born in Norwich, Norfolk, living with his wife, Mary A. aged 58, born at Wymondham, Norfolk, and a granddaughter, aged 13, Mary J. Fox

Death & burial

Died on the 18th of May 1887 at Gladstone Street, Norwich. Another source states Thorpe Hamlet.

Extract from "Norfolk Annals" for the 12th of May 1887:

"Died at Gladstone Street, Norwich, George Wilde, aged 62, the last survivor in the City of the famous light cavalry brigade charge at Balaclava. Wilde was then present with the 13th Light Dragoons, his horse being killed under him and he himself being wounded. He was in receipt of a pension of 13d. per day."

His death certificate shows that he died at No 35 Gladstone Street, Heigham [i.e. near Heigham Road?], Norwich, on the 18th of May 1887, aged 62 years, a Messenger and Army Pensioner, from "Atrophy of the Liver." A William J. Fox, a son-in-law, of No 71 Belvoir Road, Heigham, Norwich, was in attendance at, and the informant of, his death

(See copy of the death certificate in the 13th Light Dragoons "Certificates" file.)

A detailed report of his funeral appeared in the "Eastern Daily Press" for the 26th of May 1887

A stone was erected over his grave in the Rosary Cemetery. Made of sandstone, by 1980 it was very much weathered and flaked, only the first few lines of what appears to be a precis of his military service is readable:

"In affectionate remembrance of George Wilde, late of the 13th Light Dragoons. He was One of the Six Hundred and was wounded at Balaclava. He went through the whole of the campaign in the Crimea."

(See photograph of the stone in the 13th Hussar file.)

The Cemetery records show him as having been buried aged 62 years in Grave No. 1a/125.

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