Captain Arthur Layard, 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot 1855
Photograph by Roger Fenton (1819-1869), Crimean War (1854-1856), 1855.
Captain Layard was the younger brother of the Radical Member of Parliament, Austen Henry Layard. His letters to his brother are generally critical of the higher military authorities, that of 12 December 1854 being among the most scathing:
'The continuous rain we suffered from, up to three days ago, did us a great deal of mischief. In the first place it has completely destroyed our transport service. The road to Balaklava was in a dreadful state. The mules &c. were overworked and underfed, the consequence was they died, the Commissariat could not get our rations or our forage, the troops were and are all on short rations and the mounted officers, the Artillery and Cavalry up here are obliged to send in for their forage and I hear we shall have shortly to send in for our rations ourselves.'
'Our wretched Ambulance establishment of course went to the back. And only yesterday, don't hide the fact from any one in England, the French volunteered and took down to Balaklava eleven hundred 1100 of our sick, 200 going down from this Division, an officer of the staff attached to it is going down with them. The sick were conveyed in the litters etc on the mules and reached the ships safely. The mules appeared in excellent condition, just as fresh as when they first left Gallipoli. Our animals are all dead or the few that remain are but a bag of dying bones. There is not an officer in the Army that does not blush at our being obliged to go for help to our friends the French.'
Arthur Layard died of disease on 7 August 1855.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
Browse related themes