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The E.J. Boys Archive

Added 3.5.11. Minor edits 2.3.2014. New info. added 18.3.2017, 29.12.2019.

1348, Private George WILLIAMS - 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in Aldgate, London, c.1827.


Enlisted at London on the 1st of January 1848.

Age: 21.

Height: 5' 8,"

Trade: Cigar-maker.


1851 Census

Piershill Barracks, Leith South, Midlothian.

George Williams, 24, soldier, Private, born London.

Severely wounded in action at Balaclava.

Sent to Scutari on the 27th of October 1854.

Rejoined the regiment on the 1st of January 1855.

Discharge & pension

Discharged, "time expired", from Edinburgh on the 4th of February 1860.

Served 12 years 33 days.

Conduct: "good."

In possession of two Good Conduct badges.


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

A supplementary roll (undated) signed by Major Henry Holden shows him as being issued with the Crimean medal (with clasps for Alma and Balaclava) on the 7th of October 1855.


Member of the Balaclava Commemoration Society in 1877 & 1879.

His name is recorded on the list of the Balaclava Dinner, 1890.

Life after service

1861 Census

63, Swinton Street, Police Lodging House, St Pancras, Marylebone.

George Williams, unmarried, 35, Police Constable, born Aldgate Middlesex

N.B. Lodged with 17 other policemen.

1871 Census

Police Station, Hyde Park, Westminster.

George Williams, 44, Police Constable, Lodger, unmarried, born Aldgate Middlesex.

Plus 29 other policemen.

1881 Census

32, Clarendon Street, Hougham, Kent.

The 1881 Census show him as a Lodger in the house of Kate Martiner, a Widow. He was recorded as being a Superannuated Police Constable, Un-married, aged 55, born in London.

1891 Census

64, Clarendon Street, Hougham, Dover.

George Williams, head, 65, single, living on own means, born Aldgate, London.

Kate Mortimer, 72, sister, widow, General Shop, born Aldgate, London.

Death registered

Kate Mortimer, sister, aged 72 years, June Quarter 1892, Dover.

Death & burial

Died in 1896.

The GRO records show a man of this name as dying at Dover, Kent, aged 69 years, during the January-March quarter of 1896

Death registered

George Williams, aged 69 years, March Quarter 1896, Dover.

His death certificate shows that he died aged 69 years, a "Superannuated Police Constable", from "Chronic Bronchitis, Syncope", at 38, Clarendon Street, Mougham, Dover, on the 28th of February 1896. Ellen Hopson, of the same address, was present at the death. (See copy of the death certificate in the 13th Light Dragoons Certificates file.)

GW was buried in St. James's Cemetery at Dover on the 4th of March 1896 in Grave No. 1M21. As far as the records show, no headstone was erected. This was an un-purchased plot, but no other interment has taken place in the same grave. His age at death was shown as 69 years, compared with 75 in his obituary report. Further information shows that he was brought from Clarendon Street, Dover, for burial.

(There is a photograph of his gravesite, directly in front of the pictured stone, in the 13th Hussar files.)

In the magazine Black and White, 14th of March 1896, there appeared a report of the death and a picture of a George Williams, - One of the Six Hundred. No indication of his regiment was given, but only 1348 George Williams of the 13th Light Dragoons is known to have taken part. (See copy in the 13th Hussar file.)

From the Dover Express, 6th of March 1896:

" A Balaclava Hero - Last Friday (the 28th February) there died in Dover, George Williams, at 75 [sic] years of age, and one of the survivors of the famous Balaclava Charge. Mr. Williams, who had lived in Dover for some time, at No. 32 Clarendon Street, served in the 13th Light Dragoons at the time of that memorable charge, and was shot through the sword hand. His brother was killed by his side. Subsequently he was pensioned out and had since served in the Metropolitan Police. The funeral took place on Wednesday at Copt Hill..."

EJB: 879 Thomas Joseph Williams of the 13th LD was killed in action during the Charge, but not enough is known about him to confirm or deny the claim that he was GW's brother.

Western Gazette, Friday 13th March 1896

[Cutting supplied by Chris Poole.]

(Click on image to enlarge)

References & acknowledgements

Additional death registration, Census information for 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891, GW's presence on the Balaclava Dinner List, and a newspaper cutting reporting his death, kindly provided by Chris Poole.

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