Regimental Day – The Queen’s Own

In November 1854 the 97th landed at Balaclava and took part in the Crimea War where it served alongside the 50th with great distinction.  During a Russian sally from Sevastopol on March 22nd, 1855, seventy men under Captain Hedley Vicars repulsed a force although out-numbered by at least ten to one.  In August of that same year a party from the 97th re-took, with severe loss, a sap from the Russians.  During this fight Sergeant Coleman remained in the open, exposed to the enemy’s rifle fire until all around him had been killed or wounded.  Finally he carried back an officer who had been mortally wounded.  For this action Sergeant John Coleman was awarded the Victoria Cross which is in the Regimental Museum.  On September 8th the 97th took part in the assault on the Grand Redan.  Captain Lumley was one of the first to enter the redoubt where he engaged three Russian gunners.  He shot two with his pistol but was then stunned by a missile. He recovered, drew his sword to urge his men on when he was wounded. He was awarded the Victoria Cross.  The 97th held the Redan despite the fact that of the 360 who had taken part in the assault, 11 officers and 201 men had become casualties.

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