Brothers in Arms: General John Lawrenson, 17th Lancers (1802-83), and Colonel George Lawrenson, C.B., Bengal Horse Artillery (1803-56)

My account a few postings back of the military career of Captain Thomas Edward Gordon, 14th Light Dragoons (my great-great-great grandfather), has led me to look at the careers of two of his wife’s uncles, one an officer in the East India Company Army and the other in the British cavalry. Together the careers of these three men cover most of the big wars of the earlier part of Victoria's reign– the first Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-6 and the second of 1848-9, the Crimean War of 1854-6 and the Indian Mutiny of 1857-9. They encompass some of the most glorified moments of war in the Victorian age, epitomised in Crimea by the 'Thin Red Line' of the 93rd Highlanders and the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava ...


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PHARAOH: medals of the 1884-5 Nile campaign

The two Victorian campaign medals shown here were among my most prized artefacts while I was writing Pharaoh, and appear as illustrations in several editions of the novel. My 19th century protagonist is a Royal Engineers officer in the 1884 campaign to relieve General Gordon in Khartoum, and I was thrilled to discover a medal named to an actual R.E. sapper who took part in the campaign. These two medals were awarded to all British soldiers and sailors who saw active service in Egypt and Sudan from 1882 to 1889, and were dated accordingly ...


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