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Photograph added, and minor edits, 26.3.2015.

1495, Private Henry HUNT — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born in Manchester. [The 1891 Census says "Ashton, Lancs.]


Enlisted at Manchester on the 5th of October 1852.

Age: 20.

Height: 5' 9"

Trade: Valet.

Features: Fresh complexion. Grey eyes. Lt. brown hair.


Embarked for the Crimea on the 9th of May 1854.

Served with the regiment in Eupatoria, and being at Scutari from the 29th of November 1855.

Embarked for England aboard the S.S "Assistance"on the 4th of May 1856 and arriving at Plymouth on the 26th.

Re-engaged at Hounslow for a further 12 years service on the 3rd of November 1864.

Next of kin (in 1867): Wife, Elizabeth Hunt.


He is shown on the Regtl. "Married roll" from the 9th of September 1859. His wife's name was Elizabeth.

HH served in Canada from the 27th of September 1866, having disembarked at Quebec, and after serving also in Toronto, left Canada on the 29th of July 1869 and arrived at Birkenhead on the 12th of August.

While in Canada he was shown on the "Good-swordsmanship" Roll and received an extra 1d. per day for this.

Discharge & pension

Discharged from Colchester on the 24th of November 1873 as "Free, at own request after 21 years service."

Served 21 years 66 days. In Turkey and the Crimea: 2 years. Canada: 2 years 11 months.

Conduct: "very good". In possession of four Good Conduct badges.

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

Aged 41 years 2 months on discharge.

Granted a pension of 1/1d. per day.


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

Documents confirm the award of the Crimean and Turkish medals and also the Long Service & Good Conduct medal with a gratuity of £5.

Awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct medal on the 18th of December 1871.

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

Further detailed medal information archived.


He is not shown as being present at the first Balaclava Banquet in 1875, nor is he shown on the known list of the members of the Balaclava Commemoration Society in 1877 or 1879.

He appeared with other Crimean War veterans as a "Battle of Balaklava Hero" in the Lord Mayor's Show, 1890. Hunt is shown as a Serjeant, travelling in the 17th carriage in the procession. [RM]

In a photograph taken at the time of the Annual Dinner in 1890 is pictured a man dressed in the uniform of a Chelsea Pensioner and wearing three medals, but named merely as "Hunt". This could well be him. Lummis and Wynn claim in "Honour the Light Brigade" that he "May have ridden in the Charge".

Photographs & illustrations

Photo of

Henry Hunt pictured with '"Butcher", The last survivor of the Balaklava Charge' and five other men of the 13th Hussars [Light Dragoons].

(Click on image to enlarge)

As "P. Hunt", he appears in a photograph taken at Colchester in 1873 along with several other men still serving in the 13th, and "Butcher", a veteran horse from the Crimea. Since several of the men pictured are known to have taken part in the Charge, and it is obviously a posed picture, quite probably all charged.

The men shown (left to right) are Sergeant-Major Edwin Hughes, Privates James Malanfy, Henry Hunt, John Douglas and James Lamb, and Sergeant-Major William Eccles.

This photograph can be found in Barrett's Regimental History.

Life after service

To live c/o. Colonel Hamilton, Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, after discharge — 3/- rail fare being paid for him and his wife to travel there. But he was living in Canterbury from the 1st of July 1874.

He entered the Royal Hospital Chelsea as an In-Pensioner on the 1st of April 1890, at the age of 57. He was then shown as "having no wife or family", his character was "good", and his pension had previously been paid in the Edinburgh District.

1891 Census

Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

Henry Hunt, 58, In-Pensioner, born Ashton, Lancs.

Death & burial

Died on the 22nd of January 1892. He was buried in the Pensioners' Plot of Brompton Cemetery, no headstone being erected.

Extract from the Army and Navy Gazette for the 30th of January 1892:

"One of the small band of survivors of the Light Brigade at Balaclava has passed away in Henry Hunt — who rode in that ever memorable charge with the gallant 13th Light Dragoons. The body was followed to the grave from the Chelsea Hospital — where the old warrior died — to Brompton Cemetery by a few of his comrades, who mourn the loss from their midst of a true and faithful servant of his Queen and Country."

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