Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Canadian Alexander Dunn and The Charge of the Light Brigade


Today in 1854 Lt. Alexander Dunn of Toronto took part in The Charge of the Light Brigade. He became the first Canadian win a Victoria Cross for bravery when British and French cavalry charged a Russian Stronghold in Balaklava, Russia.

673 men began their charge at 11:00 am. Just 195 turned out for roll call that evening. 110 cavalrymen of Dunn's 11th Hussars began the charge, but only Dunn and 24 other men survived.


The Charge of the Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!