OLLEY (James, 1838-1926, Private in the 4th Light Dragoons at the Charge of the Light Brigade)

Card signed with some details in his hand "Late 4th Light Dragoons, B. Troop, Regimental No. 1543", on a card annotated in another hand "Charge of the Light Brigade Balaklava, October 5th 1854", with a small press cutting reporting his death in September of 1926, 5½" x 4½", no place, no date

The 16-year-old Olley provided a first-hand account of the fateful misunderstanding between Cardigan, Lucan and the staff officer who carried the order, Captain Edward Nolan. Olley recounts: 'I was within 10 paces from the Earl of Lucan and his staff when the order was brought in. 'He (Cardigan) may advance but what can we do?' said the Earl. 'There is the enemy and there are the guns' cavalry,' replied Nolan pointing to the Russian squadrons. The guns he indicated were the wrong ones, commanding the whole valley, rather than a series of captured British redoubts on the brigade's left flank. Olley lost an eye and part of his skull in battle and was reduced to begging on his return but after he had given his first hand account of the engagement there was public outrage at his treatment and a subscription fund was set up.

Item Date:  0

Stock No:  39818      £450

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