War hero revealed
A KEWSTOKE author and Crimean War researcher has put the village well and truly on the map. During the Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854, in the Crimean War, over 600 members of Britain's finest cavalry rode to their doom in what has famously become
A KEWSTOKE author and Crimean War researcher has put the village well and truly on the map.During the Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854, in the Crimean War, over 600 members of Britain's finest cavalry rode to their doom in what has famously become known as The Charge of the Light Brigade.Harry Angier, of Manor Gardens, Kewstoke, has identified that the surgeon who attended a number of the wounded was assistant surgeon Armstrong, of the 13th Light Dragoons, who lived in Kewstoke.Harry has written about these findings in the Journal of the Crimean War Society, which has members all over the world. Harry said: "I have received e-mails from people all over the world asking where Kewstoke is as they wish to visit Armstrong's grave."Armstrong lived with his parents in a house in Crookes Lane. Built in the 17th century by a sea captain, it was named Taganrog, after a town near Odessa in the Crimea. Today it is still occupied and is called Rimbo.After Armstrong was married he moved to a house called 'Temple Hill' in South Road, Weston. He died at his home on May 10, 1907, aged 77, and his funeral took place at the churchyard in Kewstoke.The inscription on his gravestone reads: 'Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong who died on May 10th 1907 in his 77th year, he served throughout the Crimean War and at Balaclava attended to the wounded of the 13th Light Dragoons of which at that time he was Assistant Surgeon.'Harry said: "The obituary is incorrect as to the claim that the surgeon took part in the charge. "Many an ex-cavalry man of that period had claimed to have made that ride, such was the fame of the charge."However, further research has shown that, although he did not take part in the charge, he did indeed follow the charge down the north valley and attended to the wounded where they fell."This action was performed under fire and danger of death from roaming Cossacks. "The people of Kewstoke can say with pride that they have a Balaclava hero in their graveyard.