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The E.J. Boys Archive

Last amended 17.3.2011. Minor edits 17.2.2014. New information added 30 June 2017.

1365, Private Algernoon HOLLIDAY — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

His name is shown on a Crimean War memorial set in front of the Queen's Hotel at Cheltenham. In view of this, he was most probably born at Cheltenham, or in the district. See also Further information, below.

1841 Census

Badgeworth, Cheltenham.

An "Agournal" Holliday is shown, 14, with brothers Charles, 15, and John, 11, living with their father John, 35, a blacksmith. [CP]


Enlisted at Bath on the 18th of October 1850.

Age: 20.

Height: 5' 8".

Trade: None shown.



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


One of the name panels, pre-restoration. [Date and source of photograph?]

(Click on image to enlarge)

The name "Private Algernon Holliday 13th Light Dragoons" appears on the Crimean War memorial outside the Queen's Hotel in Cheltenham. (There is another photograph in the 17th Lancer file.)

Death & burial

Killed in action at Balaclava.

References & acknowledgements

Census information for 1841 kindly provided by Chris Poole.

Further information

1881 Census

14, Stoneville Street, Cheltenham.

A Charles Holliday is shown in the 1881 Census, aged 56, born Cheltenham. Included in this man's household is a son, Algernon, 19, born at Newbridge. Also shown is a daughter Annie, born Aldershot.

In light of these facts it is reasonable to assume that Charles Holliday had served in the Army, too, and was a brother of Algernon killed at Balaclava. This also substantiates the Cheltenham connection. [RM]

  • Warwick & Warwick: Listing for the auction of the medals of Algernon Holliday, 13th Light Dragoons (20 November 2015).
  • 13th Dragoons Charge of the Light Brigade Casualty Medal in 9th December Medal Auction

    20th November 2015

    Private Algernon Holliday, 13th Light Dragoons was killed in action during the Charge of the Light Brigade, and his Crimea Medal and a pair to his brother are offered for sale in our 9th December medal and militaria auction with an estimate of £11,000.

    Algernon Holliday was born circa 1827 in Cheltenham and he attested for the 13th Light Dragoons in Bath in 1850 and declared his age as 20. In May 1854, the regiment embarked on 5 transport ships for the Crimea. Holliday sailed aboard the Mary Anne. They arrived in Bulgaria on the 2nd June and only departed for the Crimea from there on the 1st September. The Light Brigade protected the army's left flank at the first action of the war at the Battle of Alma on the 20th September, but were not heavily involved.

    It was during the Battle of Balaklava on 25th October 1854 that the Light Brigade were to be immortalised in history when they charged the Russian guns at the end of the valley. The 13th Light Dragoons numbering just over a hundred led the charge on the right with the 17th Lancers on the left. Running the gauntlet of artillery fire from in front and from the hills on both flanks, the Light Brigade, some 670 strong, reached the end of the valley and attacked the Russian gunners still manning their guns. Heavily outnumbered, the Light Brigade then had to retreat the way they had come, subjected to further heavy fire from all sides. The 13th Light Dragoons suffered heavy casualties with 12 killed, 32 wounded and 10 taken prisoner. Algernon Holliday was one of the 12 men from the regiment killed.

    He is commemorated on the Cheltenham Crimea War Memorial which stands in front of the Queen's Hotel. The memorial lists the men from the town who had died in the war. It was originally mounted by 2 captured cannon, but these were melted down in WW2 to help the war effort.

    The lot includes his brother, Charles Holliday's 1849 Punjab Medal and Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Charles Holliday was born in Badworth [PB: Badgeworth?], Cheltenham, enlisted in 3rd Hussars 5th June 1844 aged 20, served in India for 5 years and was discharged after 24 years service in 1868.

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