Home About Sources Topics Background

Crimean texts

[Transcribed by Megan Stevens]

The Times 25 December 1854 p 8


The following extracts of a letter from a private in the 20th Regiment to his friends at Chelmsford give at once a melancholy picture of the hardships endured by our soldiers in the Crimea, and a renewed assurance of their uncomplaining endurance:—

“I am (he writes) as well as can be expected, according to our situation, which is not a pleasant one, I assure you. The weather is wet and cold, and we have but little clothing to keep us warm, and scarcely a shoe to our feet; our rations come in only by chance, and then we fall short. We have no firing to cook with, but when we come across a tree or a house we down with it for fuel. We are poisoned with vermin and dirt; the men are dying with cold and exposure; we are tenting it, and are in the open air 20 days out of the month watching the enemy, and there is every sign of our remaining in this position for the winter.”

He then alludes to the battles of Balaklava and Inkermann, and adds,—

“Our worst misfortunes are a want of necessaries for the wounded, but we do not complain. Our officers are noble fellows, and they do all they can to alleviate the sufferings of the men. Our courage is unflinching — ready amid every privation to our utmost for old England's honour.”

Essex Standard.

Home About Sources Topics Background