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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Carlow Soldiers

Crimean  War

A trooper of the 13the Light Dragoons on picquet duty.


The Crimean War,  (1853–1856) was fought between the Russian Empire on one side and an alliance of France, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula, with additional actions occurring in western Turkey, and the Baltic Sea region.

The Crimean War is sometimes considered to be the first "modern" conflict and "introduced technical changes which affected the future course of warfare."

Source: From Wikipedia

Private James Brennan - Reg No. 1251, 13th Light Dragoons

Born in Carlow, Ireland
Enlisted at Kilbeggan on the 9th of May 1846.
Age: 17.
Height: 5’ 7”.
Trade: Labourer.
Died “of disease” in the Crimea on the 20th of October 1854.
Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasp for the Alma.
His name is not to be found on the Sebastopol clasp roll.


The Battle of the Alma (September 20, 1854), which is usually considered the first battle of the Crimean War (1853–1856), took place in the vicinity of the River Alma in the Crimea. An Anglo-French force under General St. Arnaud and Lord Raglan defeated General Menshikov's Russian army, which lost around 6,000 troops.

Source: From Wikipedia

John Lyons VC (1823-1867)

Crimean War Victoria Cross Recipient. Born in Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland c1823 and died in Naas Co. Kildare in Apr. 20, 1867.  He was a painter in civilian life before enlisting with his brother Edward on the 18th July 1842 into the 19th Regiment of Foot (later the Yorkshire Regiment). Between 1842 and 1851 he was posted to Malta and Corfu in the Mediterranean, Barbados and St Vincent in the West Indies, and Montreal and Ottawa in Canada before returning to England where he served on garrison duty at Winchester, Weymouth, and Gosport, and with the Grenadier Company at the Tower of London.

During the Crimean War he took part in the Battle of Alma on the 20th September and the Battle of Inkerman on 5th November 1854 before his VC action. From his citation: "For conspicuous gallantry in the trenches before Sevastopol on 10 June 1855. When a live shell fell in his traverse, he ran forward, picked it up, and threw it out, thus saving the lives of many of his comrades."

He was promoted to corporal and posted to India where his unit helped suppress the Indian Mutiny. He returned to England in 1861 on the sick list and was discharged on medical grounds in 1862. It is known that he died at Naas, County Kildare, Ireland, at the age of approximately 44, but the rest of the last few years of his life are a total mystery, including the location of his grave.

His medals, including the French the Légion d'Honneur, were purchased at auction in 1897 by a former colonel of his regiment and are now on display at the Green Howards Museum, Richmond, Yorkshire.

(bio by: Paul F. Wilson)

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