Crimean War Solider

Article excerpt

Byline: LOCAL HISTORY margaret henderson

EVERY now and then we come across an obituary or article which states that someone was a veteran of the Crimean War.

Most of us know this distant conflict solely for its association with Florence Nightingale who attended British troops.

Because of her experiences there she established a professional nursing training college at London in 1860 with very high standards still recognised today.

The Crimean War (1853-1856), however, has other reasons for being memorable. It is recognised as the first modern war because of its use of railways and telegraphic communications, it was the first to have an extensive written and photographic record, and, largely because of the telegraph, it was the first war to give the public at home a day-by-day record of the campaign.

For the ordinary soldiers, how- ever, it was a bitterly cold war fought mainly in or near Russia. British and French soldiers were allowed to grow full-length Arctic beards because of this.

It lasted barely three years and, as was the usual practice, returning soldiers found themselves out of work without a pension, possibly injured or at least shell-shocked, with little prospect of a return to normal pre-war life.

It is little wonder that many of these men opted to emigrate, many to Australia.

One such soldier was George Carney Britt, a native of Northern Ireland.

He arrived on the Richmond probably in the mid-1850s and remembered Lismore as a very small, minor settlement, with Bexhill and Gundurimba far superior towns. …