22nd September 2016
Pat Smedley, Chair of CDLHS, delivered an outstanding lecture on ‘Balaclava, Two Collingham Kinsmen Killed’ to a rapt audience in the Memorial Hall on September 21st. Starting with the ornate and much-visited headstone in All Saints’ Church, Pat traced the backgrounds of the three men to whom the headstone is dedicated and led us deftly through the history of the Crimean War and the ill-judged 1854 Charge of the Light Brigade.
Supported by excellent images, maps and photographs, the talk gave a fascinating insight into events leading to the debacle in which so many lives were needlessly lost, and to the aftermath, where the lack of medical care for soldiers led to one of Britain’s most known figures, Florence Nightingale, advocating radical changes in how soldiers were treated. One interesting tit-bit was that the original bugle used to sound the Charge of the Light Brigade can be seen at Thoresby Hall Museum, home to the Queen’s Royal Lancers.
Dressed as a nurse might have appeared in Scutari Hospital, Pat’s enthusiasm for her subject shone through. At the end, she finished with additional background information on the Bacon Family of Collingham; a family who, it can be said, gave to King, Queen and Country, time and time again (see previous post on World War One Commemorative Plaque).