From Balaclava to Blackpool

25th October1854

The Charge of the Light Brigade wasn’t just a disaster in its own right;

It marked the final turning point of the Battle of Balaclava.

For the Russians, Balaclava was a morale-boosting victory. Yet it is in Britain that the ill fated charge became the stuff of legend!

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Here at Layton Cemetery, Blackpool, UK, we are honored to be the final resting place of two of its heroes:

‘William Butler and Edwin Hughes’

WILLIAM BUTLER was an Ormskirk lad, when on a visit to Preston he got chatting with a soldier from the 17th Lancers who persuaded him to join up with the British Army.

In the October of 1854, aged 29, he found himself in the thick of the Crimean War fighting Russian troops under the most dreadful conditions.

The cavalry charge of 600 men against 11,000 Russians was part of the Battle of Balaclava which proved catastrophic for the British army, a calamitous mistake riddled with misinformation and miscommunication.

Miraculously Sergeant Butler survived the suicidal charge by the Light Brigade, having been attacked by two Cossacks before his horse was shot from beneath him he managed to escape seemingly certain death.

He was to be existent until the 13th February 1901 passing away aged 74.

William Butler, Layton Cemetery, Blackpool

EDWIN HUGHES, Also known as ‘Balaclava Ned’ died on the 18th May 1927. He was famously the last survivor of the Charge of The Light Brigade.

Originally from Wrexham he joined the 13th Light Dragoon’s ( Hussars) as a Private, later rising to become Troop Sergeant Major. Throughout his career he was awarded the British Crimea Medal, Turkish Crimea Medal and a Silver Medal for long service and good conduct. After leaving the army he became an instructor in a Yeomanry mounted volunteer unit.

Edwin Hughes, Layton Cemetery, Blackpool

Upon his retirement he went to live with his daughter in Blackpool where he lived to a ripe old age of ninety-five. His funeral was held in Layton Cemetery ,Blackpool with full military honours.

Published by Deborah Contessa

Dilettante Historian, Graveyard Detective, Folklore Geek & Paranormal Enthusiast.

3 thoughts on “From Balaclava to Blackpool

  1. We can’t comprehend the horrors of old battlefields, so much close quarter chaos, thank you for bringing these old soldiers to modern eyes, wonderfully written.

    Liked by 1 person

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