Canadian Military Collectors Forum

Comprehensive Forum of Canadian Armed Forces History & Militaria


    Canada and the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Share
    avatar
    Battalion Colours
    Moderator

    Posts : 846
    Join date : 2009-11-26

    Canada and the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:39 pm

    Alexander Roberts Dunn was the first Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross.



    Alexander Roberts Dunn
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Alexander Roberts Dunn
    15 September 1833 – 25 January 1868

    Charge of the Light Brigade
    by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855)
    Place of birth York, Ontario, Canada
    Place of death Senafe, Abyssinia
    Resting place Senafe, Eritrea
    Allegiance United Kingdom
    Service/branch British Army
    Rank Colonel
    Unit 11th Hussars
    100th Regiment of Foot
    33rd Regiment of Foot
    Battles/wars Crimean War
    1868 Expedition to Abyssinia
    Awards Victoria Cross
    Alexander Roberts Dunn VC (15 September 1833 – 25 January 1868) was the first Canadian awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
    He was born in York (later Toronto) in 1833, the son of John Henry Dunn, and studied at Upper Canada College and at Harrow School, England.
    Dunn was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 when he was 21 years of age and serving in the British Army's 11th Hussars. Dunn rescued a sergeant by cutting down two or three Russian lancers who had attacked from the rear. Later in the battle he killed another Russian who had been attacking a private.
    He sold his commission at the end of the Crimean War but rejoined the Army in 1858 as a major in the 100th Regiment of Foot. He exchanged into the 33rd Regiment of Foot, in 1864 in which regiment he remained until his death in the Abyssinian War.
    Dunn rose to the rank of colonel and commanded the 33rd Regiment at the start of the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia, but was killed in unusual circumstances during a hunting accident at Senafe before the military part of the campaign started.
    His grave (in present day Eritrea) had been neglected for many years but was repaired in 2001 by a group of Canadian Forces engineers from CFB Gagetown.
    For over 50 years his medals were on display in the main foyer of his old school, Upper Canada College, in Toronto. In 1977, due to a number of recent thefts and "losses" of Victoria Cross medals the school replaced the VC with a copy and moved the original to their bank safe deposit box.
    avatar
    Battalion Colours
    Moderator

    Posts : 846
    Join date : 2009-11-26

    Re: Canada and the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:46 pm

    Lt. Alexander Robertson Dunn V.C.

    The first VC awarded to a Canadian

    Alexander Dunn earned the Victoria Cross as a 21-year-old lieutenant in the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War.
    Her was born in York, Upper Canada, Sept. 15, 1833. He was a member of the 11th Prince Albert's Own Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars) in the British Army.

    The VC citation read:


    During the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava, Lt. Dunn, one of the handsomest men of his day and one of the finest swordsmen and horsemen in the army, won the Victoria Cross.
    "Having emptied his revolver at the Russians he flung it at them and resorted to his sabre, which he used to good effect. Dunn stood 6-foot-3 and used a sword much longer than the regulations permitted. He saved Sgt. Bentley's life by cutting down several Russians who were attacking him.

    "He then saved another life cutting down another Russian Hussar who was attacking Pte. Levett, 11th Hussars."

    After the war, Dunn helped organize the 100th (Prince of Wales Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot, a British unit raised in Canada. He later became its commanding officer in Gibraltar.

    He died and was buried at Senafe, Abyssinia, on Jan. 25, 1868, when his hunting rifle accidentally discharged.

    Special note: Dunn's grave went unattended in Senafe (what is now Eritrea) until a group of Canadian UN soldiers from CFB Gagetown spent days uncovering the site and cleaning it up (the site had been used as a garbage dump in the village) in early 2001. Some discussion has been had concerning the exhumation of Dunn and the return of his body to Canada.

    The photo below is of the graveyard with Dunn's cross built into a cairn by the soldiers from Gagetown.

    avatar
    Battalion Colours
    Moderator

    Posts : 846
    Join date : 2009-11-26

    Re: Canada and the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:51 pm



    Alexander Dunn VC
    avatar
    Darrell
    Member

    Posts : 229
    Join date : 2009-11-28
    Age : 52
    Location : NB

    Re: Canada and the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Post by Darrell on Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:21 pm

    Hi

    Battalion Colours wrote:...Special note: Dunn's grave went unattended in Senafe (what is now Eritrea) until a group of Canadian UN soldiers from CFB Gagetown spent days uncovering the site and cleaning it up (the site had been used as a garbage dump in the village) in early 2001...

    I don't believe that is an altogether correct statement as I understand that our Italian Allies in WW1, or later pre-WW2 the occupying Fascist Italian forces, restored and cared for it while they were in the area. This was discovered after the British entered the area at the end of WW2. It was only in 1974 the grave was "re-discovered" and brought to the attention of Veteran's Affairs Canada and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission resulting in a 1982 restoration.

    http://www.cliffchadderton.ca/blog/?m=200905
    http://www.legionmagazine.com/en/index.php/2004/01/canada-and-the-victoria-cross/

    The 2001 efforts resulted from a British/Dutch/Canadian Peacekeeper discovery of the dilapidated gravesite. The condition in 1974 through to 2001 is to be expected as the nature and frequency of the warfare in the area over that period plus it's remoteness to Westerners prevented any sort of frequent checking up on it's condition.

    http://www.explorersclub.ca/documents/dunn/Colonel_Alexander_Dunn.pdf

    regards
    Darrell
    avatar
    cefww1
    New Member

    Posts : 23
    Join date : 2009-11-28
    Age : 71
    Location : Nova Scotia

    Crimean War

    Post by cefww1 on Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:27 am

    I'll go slightly of subject & mention the beautiful Crimean War Memorial in Halifax commemorating 2 men from Halifax who died during that campaign. I've attached the link to that particular monument.
    Hugh

    http://ns1763.ca/hfxrm/crimeamon.html

    Sponsored content

    Re: Canada and the Charge of the Light Brigade

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:07 pm