Vol 13 No 12 Lord George Paget

Non-Hampton & Richmond Borough related posts.
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Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

Into The Valley of Death………….

Laid to rest in St Marys Churchyard on 6th July 1880 was Lord George Paget (1818-1880), a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade in October 1854.

Lord Paget was born on 16th March 1818, the son of Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, his mother was the daughter of the 1st Earl of Cadogan…so very much a member of the ‘Establishment’.

In those days the youngest son of an aristocratic family quite often went into the Church or the Army, in the case of George it was the army that took his fancy. George served during the Crimean War and, as General, was in command of the 4th (Queen’s Own) Light Dragoons at Inkerman and Balaclava. The Crimean War was fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia lost to a combined force of the Ottoman Empire, France and the UK. The war became infamous for the privations suffered by the soldiers and also the efforts of Florence Nightingale to improve the conditions in the Field Hospitals.

The Battle of Balaclava took place on 25th October 1854, in the confusion and what we would now call ‘the Fog of War’, orders were given, amended, re-instated and communicated poorly. After a charge by the ‘Heavy Brigade’, George Paget’s Dragoons received orders to ‘charge the Russian Guns’ somewhere ‘over there’. And so the 600 entered the realms of history as they charge up the valley to ‘death and glorty. Of the 666 known to have ridden into the maelstrom, 271 became casualties (171 killed).

George Paget led his troops, smoking a cheroot, and escaped unscathed – and no doubt dined out on the event for the rest of his life.

Whilst a serving officer, George was MP for Beaumaris from 1847 to 1857, and Knighted in 1870. As befits someone of his status, his death and funeral was reported in the Daily Telegraph. The next article will concentrate on his brother, Alfred, also buried in Hampton’s Church.

The Old Historian
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