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Turkish Crimea Heavy Brigade Balaklava

Turkish Crimea Medal, Sardinian Issue, contemporarily engraved to Private James Rodgers, 2nd Dragoons, the Scots Greys, a Balaklava man who “Probably Rode in the Charge”

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Origin: United Kingdom
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Turkish Crimea Medal, Sardinian Issue, contemporarily engraved to Private James Rodgers, 2nd Dragoons, the Scots Greys, a Balaklava man who “Probably Rode in the Charge” of the Heavy Brigade.


Contemporarily engraved neatly in serif capitals: “J. RODGER. 2nd DRAGOONS.”


Provenance: This medal alongside the recipients Crimea Medal, 3 bars, B.I.S. and his Army LS&GC first appears in the enviable collection of “Dr Payne”, it was then offered for sale by A.H. Baldwin and Sons in March 1950 for the sum of £4.4s.


Some years later in Glendinings on 24th June 1992, as Lot 627, only the Officially Impressed Crimea Medal returned to the market, hammering for £470.


With a detailed research report by Anthony Margrave circa 1998 detailing his service, copy service papers.


Forgotten Heroes, Charge of the Heavy Brigade interestingly records that the recipient was later “A Major in the Royal Artillery.”


As he was discharged following about 15 years of service in 1857, he was a bit short of earning an Army LS&GC Medal as previously listed, it is possible he rejoined the Royal Artillery and the split of the medals were from the LSGC displaying a different unit and number many years ago.


Worthy of further research. His matching Crimea Medal should be out there somewhere and the missing Army LSGC.


736 Private James Rodgers of the 2nd Dragoons, was born during 1826 in St Cuthberts, Edinburgh, Scotland.


At the age of only 15, having been a Groom, he first signed up for service with the 2nd Dragoons on 4th December 1841.


As he was underage for some years he mustered for the first 5 years with the Regimental Band until about 1847.


Upon moving on to the Cavalry troop he committed a few youthful indiscretions, he was first found on 22nd December 1847 as guilty of Habitual Drunkenness which saw him spending the Christmas of 1847 in the guard room and barrack cells between 20th December and 10th January 1848.


As soon he got out he was again tried for the “Disgraceful Conduct of Theft” on 29th January 1848, which led to another incarceration in the Guard Room from 24th January 1848 and then transferred to the District Prison where he served a lengthy sentence from 4th February 1848 until 21st August 1848.


This seems to have straightened him out and he never saw another conviction again, later being listed has having had “Good” conduct.


In July 1854 the 2nd Dragoons were chosen to join the expedition to the East and they embarked on 10th August 1854 for service in Crimea, arriving at Kulalie, 7 miles north of Scutari.
They were then shipped across the Black Sea to the Crimea aboard HMS Himalaya, landing at Karchu on 24th September 1854, narrowly missing the Battle of Alma fought a few days earlier.


They then joined the Army during their flank march to Balaklava, following day being engaged in the “Affair at Mackenzie’s Farm”.


As a member of the Heavy Cavalry Brigade the regiment was placed on the front line alongside the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons during the famous Charge of the Heavy Brigade, during the Battle of Balaklava on 25th October 1854.
They would suffer 60 casualties.


After the charge the regiment was in the reserve at Inkermann, although it seems a lot of men in the regiment did earn the bar.


Later on during 1856 Rodgers was hospitalised during the first quarter of the year.
Having been found to be of ill health he was sent back to Dublin for discharge following the end of the war.


He was discharged at Dublin on 16th March 1857, unfit for further service, his conduct was stated to have been good.
He had earned 11 years of service excluding the 3 years he spent “underage”.