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The superb Crimean War Medal w/clasps Sebastopol and Inkermann to Troop Sergeant-Major Henry Holland, who died of wounds in 1858 during the Indian Mutiny.


Henry Holland was born on 29th July 1831 at Bloomsbury, London, the son of Henry and Jane Hannah Holland (née Morgan). He grew up in Hammersmith, becoming a butcher before joining the army. Henry served during the Crimean War with the 8th (Royal Irish) Hussars, a regiment of the Light Horse Brigade who won enduring fame for their charge of the Russian artillery at the battle of Balaklava. Whilst he was not at Balaklava, he did serve at the Battle of Inkerman, and during the Siege of Sebastopol. On his return from the Crimea, Henry was stationed with his regiment in Ireland. Here he married Jane Burke, in August 1856, and their son was born the following year. With the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, Henry deployed to India with his regiment in 1857. On 21st August 1858 Holland was shot and mortally wounded by a rebel sniper. He was removed to the 8th Hussars camp at Gungapore, where he died from his wounds. There is a rather poignant letter written by Maj. G.C. Clowes (who had been wounded and captured during the Charge of the Light Brigade), referencing Holland:


"We suffered a great loss in the one man killed, though. It was my Sergeant Major, since made Regimental Sgt-Major. He was shot by a rebel skulking behind a rock, just across the river. I saw him shot. He was standing, pointing ..when a brute got a rest over a rock and shot the poor Sgt-Major in the stomach. He lived until the next morning. There was some hope for him in the evening but inflammation came on and he sank very soon. He was such a nice man, the best I ever knew in the regiment. You remember how anxious I was to have him for Sgt-Major of my troop just before we left England. He married just before we left Dundalk and has a child. I promised that I would do what I could for them. I daresay you would give her help if I can find out what she means to do. Perhaps she may live with his family who are well off..."


Holland received an unnamed Crimea medal in 1856, and this has been subsequently engraved in a contemporary style by a very skilled engraver. The quality is excellent such that it actually looks impressed. The medal and clasps are all verified on the medal rolls, and the naming has been independently verified as contemporary by three UK experts, including Michael Hargreaves-Mawson. This is a rare opportunity to obtain an excellent Light Brigade Crimea medal to a senior NCO rank.


The Roger Fenton photograph in this listing of SNCOs from the 8th Royal Irish Hussars in Crimea, whilst unnamed, shows men of the same rank as Holland. It is a great study in the uniforms these men wore, and how Holland would have looked whilst earning the medal on offer.



Crimea to Light Horseman, Died of Wounds during Indian Mutiny

SKU: ZM232
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