Glasgow & West Of Scotland Property Index, 1933

Queen Victoria's Children

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert,
page 8 of 13

violation of a treaty to which the two nations named, together with Britain and France, were signatory Powers. Russia invaded Turkey, and then Britain and France declared war against the former Power, and attacked it at various points. The chief theatre of war in this gigantic struggle was the Crimea. When the allied armies landed there they found the Russians in great force occupying a splendid military position along the crests of a series of steep hills, at whose base flowed the River Alma. The enemy had deemed this position all but impregnable, but our brave soldiers, after fording the river, stormed the steep heights in the face of a perfect hurricane of shot and shell, and carried the Russian batteries at the point of the bayonet. The regiments that had the place of honour in this attack were both Scottish, the 42nd, or Black Watch, and the 93rd Highlanders. There is another fact in connection with this engagement which is of special interest to us: this Highland Brigade was led by Sir Colin Campbell, an old Glasgow boy, having been born in this city on the 28th October, 1792. Through all his life he was a brilliant, brave, and devoted soldier, from the time in which he had fought as a lad in the Peninsular war under Sir John Moore (another Glasgow man) and the Duke of Wellington, down till the close of the Indian Mutiny, when he received the nation’s thanks and the distinguished position of field-marshal of the British Army, the highest military honour which his sovereign could bestow.

Had the victory at the Alma been speedily followed up, it has been fully established by all military critics that Sevastopol would at once have fallen into our hands. It turned out, however, that our army was miserably ill provided, not only with guns, horses, and ammunition, but even with provisions and hospital stores. The result was that the Russians were allowed to fall back on Sevastopol. The fortifications of this city were strengthened to a degree which made the position all but impregnable. Then, to our army, followed that awful winter of 1854-55, before the beleaguered city, a winter in which war, exposure, and pestilence carried off nearly one half of our soldiers. During this remarkable siege our soldiers performed deeds of heroism and valour equal to anything done by heroes of the old Homeric times. The splendid behaviour of our Highlanders under Sir Colin Campbell, and the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava, have become immortal in the pages of history. As this battle has a peculiar interest for us in Glasgow, on account of the part taken in it by Sir Colin and the 93rd Highlanders, part of that brilliant description of it by Dr. Russell, the special correspondent of the London Times, who was present at the battle, will bear quoting here. It has in it all the picturesque grandeur and the fire of a battle-scene from the pages of Homer: ‘The cavalry who have been pursuing the Turks on the right are coming up the ridge beneath us, which conceals our cavalry from view. The Heavy Brigade in advance is drawn up in two lines. The first line consists of the Scots Greys and of their old companions in glory, the Enniskillens; the second, of the 4th Royal Irish, or the 5th Dragoon Guards, and of the 1st Royal Dragoons. The Light Cavalry Brigade is on their left, in two lines also. The silence is oppressive; between the cannon bursts one can hear the champing of bits and the clink of sabres in the valley below. The Russians on their left draw breath for a moment, and then in one grand line dash at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their horses’ feet; gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that thin red streak, tipped with a line of steel. The Turks fire a volley at eight


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