Mrs. Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6

By Frances Isabella Duberly; Christine Kelly | Go to book overview

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

Airey. General Sir Richard Airey (1803-81), Quartermaster General, in charge of supplies and transport, was blamed by the press and parliament for the failures of the system during the winter of 1854-5. Although he struggled, unsuccessfully, against the bureaucratic lethargy in London and Balaclava he lacked the determination and energy to break free from the traditional formfilling and procrastination of the commissariat and the independence of mind to set up the emergency systems vital for the army's survival. His brusque manner made him unpopular and Fanny was not alone in thinking him 'a thorough humbug from his cap peak to his spurs'. Friends at first, they later quarreled (and he became 'so ashamed of himself when he sees me – in consequence of one or two little things we tried to transact and failed – that he will ride two miles round to get out of my way'). She expressed her sympathy for him, however, when he was criticised in the government commission of 1856 even while pin-pointing the trait that made him, and many of the general staff, so disliked: 'I cannot help saying I am sorry for Airey – for he is such an agreeable, gentlemanly well bred man – that I do believe he did not know what he had to do, as he was always immensely busy about something or other. And then you know, Society of a certain set, of the higher class, is not given to see the oi polloi except through bandaged eyelids. I think they regard them much as we do sheep or cows that we see out in the wet – we think it is their nature & they are used to it – & so it's all right.'

Bosquet. General Pierre François Joseph Bosquet was a distinguished battlefield commander whose attack on the Russian left wing at the Alma and timely intervention at Inkerman played major parts in both victories. The Chasseurs d'Afrique he had sent in support of the British cavalry at the battle of Balaclava played a decisive role in covering the retreat of the Light Brigade. During the siege he commanded the Corps of Observation, the 1st and 2nd Divisions, based on the Uplands to protect the rear of the French army from attack by Menshikov. His life-long rivalry with Pelissier, which had begun in Algeria, continued in the Crimea when he failed to pass on to Pelissier a plan of the Russian defences (found in a dead Russian's uniform), and he sent a continual stream of critical reports back to Paris. Matters came to a head on 16 June, when Bosquet criticised Pelissier's plan to attack the Malakoff, rightly fearing huge loss of life if they attacked before the

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Mrs. Duberly's War: Journal and Letters from the Crimea, 1854-6
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Maps and Illustrations ix
  • Notes on Endpapers x
  • Chapter 1 - The Voyage 1
  • Chapter 2 - Embarkation and Encampment at Varna 17
  • Chapter 3 - The Expedition to the Crimea 54
  • Chapter 4 - Balaklava October-November 1854 75
  • Chapter 5 - Balaklava December 1854– March 1855 113
  • Chapter 6 - The Camp 154
  • Chapter 7 - The Fall of Sebastopol 200
  • Notes and Commentary 263
  • Biographical Notes 307
  • Appendix I - How the War Began 327
  • Appendix 2 - The Battle of Balaklava 334
  • Books Referred to and Further Reading 343
  • Acknowledgements 345
  • Index 347
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