Dr. M. M.
(revised and updated
from articles in
Dispatch: the Journal
of the Scottish Military Historical
Spring 1998, pp. 12-15,
and in the archives of the 15th/19th Hussars,
(Signature and picture
detail: Museum of the
Captain Louis Edward Nolan, 15th Hussars, was a gifted cavalry
officer whose influence on his profession long outlasted his own
tragically short life. He is now most famous for the controversial
circumstances of his death, aged 36, at Balaklava. However,
his life deserves to be better remembered. In background and
training he was not typical of the officer-class of his time, and his
achievements in so short a life were remarkable.
Although born in Canada, Louis' early childhood was spent in
Edinburgh, and it was in Edinburgh that his career in the British
army was decided upon. Moreover, it appears that his parents - an
Irishman and an Londoner - regarded Scotland as their adopted
Louis was the second surviving son of Captain John Babington
Nolan (c. 1786-1850), 70th Regiment, and Elizabeth (Eliza) Harleston
Hartley (1779-1870). The marriage, by a Scottish Episcopal minister
in Perth on 12 July 1813,1 was Babington Nolan's second
(his first wife had died without issue in 1808), and Eliza's third.
Her previous husbands had been Andrew Macfarlane of Blanairn, a
well-to-do Perthshire landowner, and Charles Ruddach, a Kirkwall
minister's son with sugar estates in Tobago. Of her 5 children, only
2 were still living at the time of her third marriage: William Dick
Macfarlane (1806-38) and George Elsy Ruddach (1810-54). Babington
Nolan was born in Ireland, the son of a trooper of the 13th Light
Dragoons who died of yellow fever in Haiti in 1796. His entry into
commissioned ranks had been due to the good fortune of being awarded
a bounty, with his sister, through the instigation of his father's
Colonel, Gen. Francis Craig. In 1803 he was granted an ensigncy in
61st Foot, and the following year he was appointed to a lieutenancy
in 70th Foot. After service in the West Indies, he was promoted
Captain without purchase in 1812. He was in command of the regimental
depot at Atholl Street Barracks, Perth, when he met Mrs.
Entry for Louis' parents' marriage,
Perth, 12 July 1813
The Nolans' first son was born in Perth on 22 April,
1814,2 but seems to have died. In 1815, they moved to
Edinburgh, where a second child, Archibald Buchanan Nolan, was born
that December. They were then living in North Castle Street, not far
from Sir Walter Scott, whose family played a part in the Nolans'
fortunes. In 1816, Babington Nolan joined the rest of his regiment in
Upper Canada (modern Ontario), and Eliza accompanied him. Louis
Edward was born there in York County (around present-day Toronto) on
4 January, 1818. While in Canada, the Nolans became acquainted with
Thomas Scott, Sir Walter's brother, the 70th Regiment's
79-80 Queen Street, Edinburgh:
Louis' first home in Britain
(photo by author)
The family returned to Edinburgh in 1819, to an apartment in 79
Queen Street.3 It was Louis' first British home. There, in
January, 1820, his younger brother, Edmond de Courcy Nolan, was born.
The following month Babington Nolan left the 70th Foot and retired on
half-pay. Little is known of the years which followed, but by 1829,
when Louis was eleven, the family was living in Piacenza in Italy,
and shortly after moved on to Milan, then within the Austrian Empire.
In 1832 his father obtained an unsalaried position as British
Consular Agent and Vice-Consul there. (This seems to be the root of
the myth that Louis was half-Italian.) Babington took to styling
himself 'Major', a rank to which he was not formally gazetted until
1837, and upgraded himself to 'His Majesty's Vice-Consul', irritating
the Foreign Secretary, Palmerston, in the process. He used his
numerous social contacts to help the boys enter military
William Macfarlane held commissions in the Black Watch and the
Gordons, before dying in Perth in 1838. George Ruddach and the three
Nolan boys were sent for training in the Austrian Imperial army. In
1832 Archibald and Louis became cadets in the K.k. Friedrich Wilhelm
III. König von Preussen 10. Husaren-Regiment, and trained at the
Engineer Corps School in Tulln. (Edmond joined them there 2 years
later, although he was attached to another regiment.) It was to this
highly professional training that Louis - known in Austrian service
as 'Ludwig' - owed his expertise in riding and swordsmanship. It also
enabled him to add Hungarian to the French, German and Italian
languages in which he was already fluent. (He later also learned
several Indian languages).4 He completed his training in
1835, and was posted to his regiment. He served in Hungary and
Poland, and by the age of 20 was a Senior Lieutenant.
In 1838 Louis went to London to see Queen Victoria's coronation,
and was presented at her second levee through the patronage of the
Imperial ambassador Prince Esterhazy. He also attended the military
review at Hyde Park. He was impressed, and over the following months
determined to follow his family's tradition by joining the British
army. Since his parents had returned temporarily to Edinburgh, Louis
went to stay with them, on leave, and apparently accompanied them on
holiday to Helensburgh. Babington Nolan corresponded with the
Military Secretary, FitzRoy Somerset (who, as Lord Raglan, was to
play his part in the events leading to Louis' death), about buying
his son a commission. After much confusion, with applications to the
37th and 30th Foot, and a brief period with an ensigncy in the 4th
Foot, a letter from his father to Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Walter Scott
- son of the novelist, and nephew of the Nolans' friend Thomas -
enabled Louis to be gazetted Cornet in Scott's regiment, the 15th
King's Hussars (23 April 1839). Amid the paperwork, the business of
resigning from the Imperial service was delayed, and for several
months he was inadvertantly on the books of both armies before being
struck off by the Austrians in October 1839.
Louis' British Army career was divided between Bangalore and
Madras in India, and the Cavalry Depot in Maidstone, Kent. He fell
sick almost immediately on arrival in India, and was sent home. On
recovery, he began to train as a riding master at Maidstone. In 1841
he purchased his Lieutenancy, and returned to India in 1843. That
same year, his younger brother Edmond died at Kirkee near Bombay.
Archibald had already died in Tobago in 1839, while managing the
Ruddachs' Adelphi estate, so Louis and his half-brother George
Ruddach were now the only surviving children of the family.
In 1844, aged 26, Louis was appointed Riding Master in his
regiment. His effective training of horses and riders impressed his
superiors. The earliest - and artistically most competent - portrait
of him dates from this phase of his career in India (1845), depicting
him in stable dress. (See detail at top of page.)
He was striking rather than handsome (indeed, a contemporary
described him as "ugly"5): a slim young man with dark
curls, high cheekbones, and extremely sharp features. His long, thin,
beaky nose and prim mouth give an impression of sour hauteur,
which may have been misleading. Socially, he was said to be charming
- a quality which seldom survives transmission to paint. (See
selection of full images).
In 1849, Louis was appointed ADC to General Sir George Berkeley,
Commander-in-Chief at Madras. He purchased his troop in March 1850,
two months after his father's death. (It is one of the numerous myths
surrounding Louis that he was promoted without purchase: this is not
so.) He returned to Britain on leave in 1851, initially on health
grounds but this was later amended to 'special reasons' - to write a
book on the training of horses and military equitation.
From March to August 1852 he and his friend, Lieut. Col. Key,
travelled around Europe researching and observing the training of
cavalry in several countries, including France, Russia, Sweden and
Saxony. In October 1852 he was given command of the regimental depot
troop at Maidstone, and that November led his regiment's detachment
in Wellington's funeral procession. By this time, his first book,
The Training of Cavalry Remount Horses: A
New System (partly influenced by the work of
François Baucher) was in print.
Louis did not rest on his laurels. In 1852-3, he worked on a
saddle design better suited to horse and rider than the 'Hungarian'
model then prevalent. The prototype which he developed was favourably
reviewed in the press in 1853, tested by the Mounted Staff Corps in
the Crimea, and adopted in its essentials after his death.
At the same time, he was preparing another book for
publication.Cavalry: Its History and
Tactics, published in 1853, was broader in scope than his
previous work. It had evolved from notes made in India to incorporate
insights from his 1852 tour of Europe and from wide reading of
French, German, Austrian as well as British experts. He outlined the
history of cavalry over the centuries, reviewed the methods of other
countries, and advocated sensible reforms, including in
To me it appears we have too much frippery - too much
toggery - too much weight in things worse than useless. To
a cavalry soldier every ounce is of consequence! I can never
believe that our hussar uniform (take which of them you please) is
the proper dress in which to do hussar's duty in war - to scramble
through thickets, to clear woods, to open the way through forests,
to ford or swim rivers, to bivouac, to be nearly always on outpost
work, to 'rough it' in every possible manner. Of what use are
plumes, bandoliers, sabretashes, sheep-skins, shabraques, &
He regarded speed and sharp swords as essential to the
effectiveness of cavalry. His attitude towards the treatment of
horses was striking, and not devoid of wit:
Write up in golden letters - or in letters
distinguishable, and easy to read - in every riding-school, and in
every stable: "HORSES ARE TAUGHT NOT BY HARSHNESS BUT BY
GENTLENESS." Where the officers are classical, the golden rule may
be given in Xenophon's Greek, as well as in English.7
The book was favourably reviewed: a French translation was
published in 1854, before his death.
It is interesting that the accounts of Louis as vain and arrogant
come from officers of higher rank and social background - perhaps
uncomfortable with a clever, foreign-trained officer with Indian
service and a common Irish name. Lord George Paget described him
after his death as "an officer named Captain Nolan, who writes books,
and was a great man in his own estimation."8 But the other
ranks found little snobbery in this trooper's grandson. Sergeant
Henderson, 15th Hussars, wrote that, "like most Continental officers
his manner to those in the ranks, while it forbade the slightest
approach to presumption, was so kind and winning that he was beloved
by everyone".9 Henry Franks, a fellow pupil at Maidstone,
described him as "a thorough gentleman", who, regarding troopers and
NCOs, "was as unpretending and...familiar as any of us", earning "a
very deep and lasting feeling of esteem".10
Very little is known about Louis' private life and off-duty
interests. His family died out with his mother in 1870, and there is
no trace of personal papers. Even the family portrait miniatures
which Mother left to Elizabeth Clabon, her lawyer's daughter or
sister, are now unlocated. Louis' closest friends were professional
colleagues, notably George Key, to whom he dedicated
Cavalry: Its History and Tactics.
In India, Colonel and Mrs. Key had treated Louis as part of their
family; he thanked them by making them his heirs. (His mother was
already provided for as a result of her various marriages).
His obituary in The Illustrated London
News says "he found time for the sports of the field, and
was several times a successful competitor in some of the most
severely-contested steeplechases on the Madras turf",11
and he was a good fencer, but this sounds like someone who took his
work home with him. Yet the man who wrote:
The knowledge of tactics no more makes the general than
the knowledge of the number of syllables required in verses makes
the poet. Genius alone can make the poet and the
surely had some feeling for literature, and he liked music. He
was elected to the Army and Navy Club in 1848. He supported several
charities, including the relief fund for Irish and Highland
In March 1854, preparations were under way for the invasion of
the Crimea. Newcastle, the War Secretary, asked Lord Raglan (formerly
FitzRoy Somerset), the expedition's intended commander, that Louis be
sent to Constantinople to purchase horses for the army. He was
gazetted ADC to Brigadier-General Airey before this mission. Assisted
by his half-brother, George Ruddach (who died in Constantinople on 11
May, only 4 days after Louis left the city), and later by Captain J.
W. Thompson, he travelled around Turkey, Lebanon and Syria, with some
success. He arrived in Varna, Bulgaria, in July, with nearly 300 Arab
and part-Arab horses and a few mules.
On arriving in the Crimea, Louis was employed as a 'galloper',
conveying orders from the General Staff. He cut a distinctive figure:
not having had time to buy a staff officer's uniform before he left
home, he was still wearing the dark blue, gold-laced uniform and red
forage cap of the 15th Hussars - the only member of the regiment (in
which he was now on half-pay) in the East. Because of his language
skills, he also acted as an interpreter between the British and the
French. During the Allied victory at the Alma and the bombardment of
Sevastopol', he was, like the Generals, an onlooker. He befriended
the Times correspondent William
Russell, and the courageous and engaging Fanny Duberly, who braved
the campaign to accompany her husband Henry, the 8th Hussars'
Paymaster. She records in her journal for 15 October:
we had a long and interesting conversation [which
included discussion of the siege of Sevastopol']. After
discussing my afternoon's amusement, I determined on accepting his
horse and saddle, with a tiger-skin over the holsters; while he
borrowed a pony, and we rode together to see Henry at the
Army gossip - as recounted by Fred Dallas, who, while he liked
Louis, regarded Fanny with horror for "not being womanly" - suggested
that they were lovers.15 However, in Victorian usage this
may simply imply an emotional attachment, however physically
platonic. Fanny, nearly 11 years Louis' junior, and unjustly accused
of unfeminine insensitivity by men who could not see through the
brave face she wore in adversity, shared his love of horses and
commitment to army life. It is easy to believe that she would have
been his ideal woman, but her evident devotion to her husband
suggests that any feelings beyond friendship were one-sided. Given
his views on the treatment and use of cavalry horses, Louis was
surely at least rather taken with her to allow her - fine horsewoman
as she was - on his.
But he was becoming increasingly bitter at the conduct of the
British campaign, notably over the ineffective use of cavalry. After
the High Command's refusal to let the cavalry rout the retreating
Russians at the Alma, he told Russell, "It is enough to drive one
mad! ...they ought to be damned".16 He apparently
expressed his criticisms further in a campaign journal which may have
been compiled in preparation for another book. (This notebook is to
be published in 2003: I, for one, can't wait to read it!). Louis
particularly despised the Division Commander, the Earl of Lucan -
nicknamed 'Lord Look-On'. Lucan, not entirely satisfied with Louis'
Eastern horses, returned the sentiment.
On Wednesday 25 October 1854, the Russian army advanced,
intending to separate the Allies from their base at Balaklava. The
Turks withdrew under heavy fire, but Sir Colin Campbell's Highlanders
and the charge of Scarlett's Heavy Brigade scattered the Russians.
Meanwhile, the Light Brigade, rather than pursuing, remained
stationary, to the fury of its regimental officers. Raglan had
ordered Lucan to use the brigade to regain Causeway Heights, but
Lucan had misunderstood and delayed.
The Russians, having taken the redoubts along Causeway Heights
from the Turks, began to remove the captured guns. As Raglan watched
from Sapouné Ridge, he decided Lucan should act. He dictated
his fourth order of the morning to him. Airey wrote it down:
Lord Raglan wishes the Cavalry to advance rapidly to the
front - follow the Enemy & try to prevent the Enemy carrying
away the guns - Troop Horse Arty may accompany - French Cavalry is
on y. left.
Given the steep descent to the North Valley, the order was given
to the best horseman on the Staff: Louis Nolan.
What followed is still highly controversial: participants'
accounts are contradictory, and more questions are raised than can
ever be answered.
When Louis brought him the pencilled note, Lucan was puzzled.
Having misconstrued his previous order, he did not connect the new
one with it - i.e., that it was referring to the Causeway Heights.
According to his own account:
The aide-de-camp, in a most authoritative tone, stated
that they were Lord Raglan's orders that the cavalry should attack
immediately. I asked him where? And what to do as neither enemy or
guns were within sight?
"There, my lord, is your enemy; there are your guns," Louis
answered in what Lucan called "a most disrespectful but significant
manner", gesturing into the distance, apparently towards the North
Valley, at the end of which was a mass of Russian artillery and
Without asking for further clarification, Lucan conveyed the
order to Lord Cardigan. Cardigan queried it, but was told he had no
choice but to obey.18
As an ADC, having delivered the order, Louis' duty was to return
to Airey: instead, he obtained permission from his friend, Captain
William Morris, acting commander of the 17th Lancers, to ride with
his regiment. Perhaps the instinct to gather experience for his
writing had got the better of him: it is hard to imagine him
not wanting to get another book out of the campaign (hence the
keeping of the journal?). The brigade began to walk, and then to
trot. Then, Morris saw Louis begin to outpace them. It has been
claimed that he called out, "That won't do, Nolan! We've a long way
to go and must be steady!"19 But there is no agreement as
to where Louis was riding in the regiment to determine whether
this is plausible. It seems more likely that, as an additional
officer not belonging to the regiment, he had moved to the left,
rather than remained with Morris in the centre.
Louis caught up with Cardigan at the head of the brigade, waved
his sword and shouted. Corporal J. I. Nunnerley, 17th Lancers, later
claimed that he heard Louis call out the command "Threes
right!"20 - but that too has been disputed.
This much is certain: a Russian shell exploded nearby, and a
piece of red-hot shrapnel ripped into Louis' left breast. Badly
burnt, his ribs torn open, he screamed in agony and dropped his
sword. Cadaveric spasm (a type of instant rigor, not unknown
in violent death) held his convulsed body in the saddle, his
sword-arm still rigid. His horse carried him back through the
advancing troops, before he finally fell. The gold-lace on what was
left of his jacket was charred black.
Nunnerley later claimed that he ordered those of his men who had
begun to turn right back into line with "Front forward!"21
The brigade rode on, at increasing speed, towards the Russian
artillery... They succeeded in taking the guns, but without back-up,
were forced to withdraw. Casualties were heavy, though by no means
the annihilation popular myth has tended to conjure. Of 664 men, 110
were killed, 130 wounded, 58 prisoners; about 362 horses died or had
to be shot.22
Cardigan survived with only minor injuries. At first, believing
Louis had merely panicked, he complained to Scarlett about him
"riding to the rear and screaming like a woman". Scarlett replied:
"Do not say any more, for I have ridden over his
The Inniskillings' surgeon, James Mouat, examined the dead man's
wounds before winning his VC by rescuing the unconscious Morris under
fire. Louis was buried in a shallow grave in the ditch of No. 5
redoubt, after a friend took his watch and sword. This officer,
apparently much affected, has not been conclusively identified. Mike
Hargreave Mawson has suggested that it was Mouat, whose father had
been regimental surgeon to the 15th Hussars, but Mouat snr. had lost
his post thanks to Louis's friend George Key, which perhaps makes any
display of grief unlikely. Rodney Robinson shares my suspicion that
the mourner may have been Louis' 20-year-old nephew, Robert
Macfarlane, an officer in 50th Foot, who had arrived in the Crimea
just a few weeks before.
According to an ambulance officer, Lucan refused to allow him to
be carried back to the lines: "No, he met his deserts - a dog's death
- and, like a dog, let him be buried in a ditch."24 The
late Ken Horton informed me that attempts are now being made to
locate him, and I hope to post notice if I hear anything
The motives and actions of the key players in the fatal incident
are still much debated. Fred Dallas wrote on 27 October:
- Who will answer for it, I don't know. Ld. Lucan I am told lays
the blame on the A.D.C. who brought him the order, poor fellow! I
knew him pretty well, a most promising Officer, Captain Nolan,
15th. Hussars. He was the first killed. He charged with them and
fell the first.25
Louis' death was - and is - highly convenient when it comes to
apportioning responsibility. In any calamity, a dead man is an
obvious scapegoat, the more so when his background does not quite
'fit', and he has been something of a
gadfly.The Daily News
A very base attempt is being made to stifle inquiry...by
laying the blame on the late Captain Nolan... Dead men cannot
defend themselves; and this fact seems to have suggested the idea
of casting blame on a dead and voiceless man in order that the
survivors might have no temptation to recriminate on each
The claim that he deliberately misled Lucan into sending the
brigade against the Russian guns to prove his belief in the
superiority of cavalry, still surfaces from time to time at popular
level as if it were a new revelation. Examples include Kingsley Amis'
radio play, Captain Nolan's
Chance (BBC Radio 4, 17 November 1994), and Channel 4's
History documentary, 6 June 2002, based primarily on Mark
Adkin's 1996 book, The
Charge.27 Robert Henderson recalled that Louis
had once sketched a diagram of such an attack, in chalk, on a wall at
Maidstone, convinced of its success: but in
Cavalry: Its History and Tactics
he wrote, "Charges on a large scale should seldom be attempted
against masses of troops of all arms, unless they have previously
been shaken by fire".28 The forces at the end of the North
Valley had not been shaken by fire.
However angry and frustrated he was at Lucan's handling of the
cavalry - as we know he was - Louis Nolan was a highly ambitious
career-soldier. His reputation had been built on professional
expertise, without a safety-net of political or aristocratic
connections. To deliberately send troops against the wrong target -
even in the event of their success - would be to court his own ruin.
Nothing in his career before 25 October 1854 suggests that he was a
man to act recklessly against his own professional
Another possibility is that it was a tragic misunderstanding
caused by poor communications and frayed tempers. Kinglake raised the
possibility (as a hypothesis, not a certainty) that Louis had
realised that Lucan had ordered the brigade not to retake the
captured guns, but to charge the Russian artillery, and was
attempting to redirect the advance when he was killed. He claimed
that Cardigan himself supported his hypothesis that Nolan had not
"the least idea of the mistake which was about to be perpetrated,
until he saw the brigade begin to advance without having first
changed front", and then "did not lose a moment in his efforts to
rescue the brigade from the error into which he then saw it
falling."30 But this is as yet unconfirmed from surviving
Kinglake-Cardigan correspondence. Certainly, in
Cavalry: Its History and Tactics
Louis had described a manuvre for changing the
direction of advancing cavalry: the order Corporal Nunnerley said he
heard as "Threes right!" would have been the correct one in context,
to turn the brigade towards the Causeway Heights. Mark Adkin
(The Charge, 1996) is sceptical
of Nunnerley's claim, as it was written in 1884. However, since
Nunnerley showed himself in an unfavourable light in the anecdote,
why would he have invented such an embellishment? - He had
nothing to gain by it: his rank placed him outside the politicking of
the commissioned officers. In contrast, Cardigan's ADC, Fitz Maxse,
claimed that Louis' horse had turned right only after the
rider was hit. The sheer speed of events and resulting conflicting
interpretations hinder any clear resolution.
more recent theory by Major Colin Robins raises yet another
possibility: that Raglan's original order was potentially even more
dangerous.31 According to this interpretation, if
Louis did misrepresent the command on purpose, he may have
believed (perhaps correctly) that he was doing everyone a favour by
choosing the lesser of two evils.
Ultimately, we have to accept that this is a story with no tidy
conclusion: only a range of hypotheses which go in and out of fashion
and depend on the sympathies of their authors, and whether they and
their readers favour 'cock-up' or 'conspiracy' theories of history.
The crucial evidence - Louis' own version of events - can never be
Berkeley, Airey and other friends paid for a memorial
plaque in Holy Trinity Church, Maidstone, which Louis had
attended while working at the Cavalry Depot. It bore the Uí
Nuallain clan arms. The inscription spelled his first name -
which often caused the Army problems - as it was pronounced, 'Lewis'.
To his biographer, Hubert Moyse-Bartlett, the location of the plaque
seemed apt: "In so far as Louis had an English home, it was at
Maidstone".32 His mother Eliza had already paid for a
memorial plaque to George Ruddach in the same church.33
However, since 1997 Holy Trinity has been turned into flats; Louis'
plaque seems to have been broken up and ended up in a skip, so he now
has no monument anywhere. (George's plaque may have gone before then:
neither it nor George's date of death is mentioned in
Moyse-Bartlett's biography). Louis' first British home, 79 Queen
Street, Edinburgh, is to date unmarked. According to the late Ken
Horton, Eliza, who died in Bruges in 1870, having survived 3
husbands, 9 children (losing her last 2 boys within 5 months of each
other) and her only grandson, may be buried in Totteridge,
Middlesex, with Charles Ruddach and their daughter Charlotte.
If Louis is remembered at all today, it is for the controversial
altercation with Lucan and its results, and the horrific last ride
which Thomas Jones Barker's highly sanitised and rather kitsch
the National Gallery of Ireland,
and reproduced with permission) sentimentalised for the Royal Academy
in 1855. But he deserves to be remembered for all he achieved in his
life before 25 October 1854; granted for that day the Scots verdict
of "Not proven" (the only just one, in the absence of his own key
testimony); and allowed his rest.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
The definitive work to date on Louis Nolan's life is the
biography by Hubert Moyse-Bartlett, Louis
Edward Nolan and his Influence on the British Cavalry (Leo
Cooper, 1971), reprinted in 1975 as Nolan of
1. Perth Register of Marriages for July 1813; correspondence with
Jeremy Duncan, Local Studies Librarian, A. K. Bell Library, Perth,
2. The Perthshire Courier (28
3. The Post-Office Annual
Directory, from Whitsuntide 1819 to Whitsuntide 1820
(Edinburgh, 1819), p. 255, under 'Nolan, Capt.'.
The ground floor and basement of 79-80 Queen Street are now a bar and
Queen Street, which serves excellent food. See Tour
4. Obituary, 'Captain
Lewis Edward Nolan, Late of the 15th Hussars',
The Illustrated London News, 25
(25 November, 1854), p. 528.
5. Anon, Aldershottana; or Chinks in My
Hut (London, 1856), pp. 192-3, quoting an ambulance
officer who described him as "a good fellow, but an ugly man, and
made a still uglier corpse".
6.Louis Edward Nolan, Cavalry: Its
History and Tactics (London, 1853), p. 115. Quoted in
abridged version in review, The Illustrated
London News, 24 (7 January, 1854), p. 17.
7.Nolan, Cavalry: Its History and
Tactics, p. 167.
8. Quoted by Moyse-Bartlett, Louis
Edward Nolan, p. 229.
9. Robert Henderson, The Soldier of
Three Queens (Otley, 1866), pp. 193-4.
10. Henry Franks, Leaves from a
Soldier's Notebook (Thirsk, 1904), p. 17.
The Illustrated London News, loc.
12. Nolan, Cavalry: Its History and
Tactics, p. 191.
13. Ibid., p. 116.
14. Mrs. Henry [Frances Isabella] Duberly, Journal
Kept During the Russian War (London, 1856), p. 105, and E. E.
P. Tisdall, Mrs. Duberly's Campaigns
(London, 1963), pp. 90-1. Fanny's journal was edited for
publication by her brother-in-law Francis Marx: one wonders if other
mentions of Louis were cut, perhaps in the wake of the controversy
surrounding his death, as it is clear from this reference that they
must have met before.
15. George Frederick Dallas (Michael Hargreave Mawson, ed.),
Eyewitness in the Crimea: The Crimean War
Letters of Lt. Col. George Frederick Dallas (London,
2001), Letter 26 (30 January, 1855), p.78: "Almost the last time I
saw her, she was quietly looking through a Lorgnette, at the whole of
her Regiment being blown to pieces at the dreadful Balaklava affair
by the Russian Guns, (and if scandal speak truly) a lover of hers
being one of the first killed." Mike believes that his
great-great-grandfather was referring to Louis, rather than to
another acquaintance, Captain George Lockwood, 8th Hussars, with whom
rumour had linked her. Lockwood was an old friend of Fanny's sister
Mrs. Selina Marx; Fanny herself had fallen out with him before
16. Quoted in Cecil Woodham-Smith, The
Reason Why (London, 1953), p. 195.
17. Lucan's letter to Raglan, 30 November, 1854, quoted in John
Sweetman, Raglan: From the Peninsula to the
Crimea (London, 1993), p. 253, with Sweetman's caution
that Lucan may have "rationalized the content of those exchanges"
afterwards, to justify his failure to obtain clarification from
Louis. It is also possible that the Anglo-Irish peer Lucan, who had a
very low opinion of the non-Ascendancy Irish (Woodham-Smith,
The Reason Why, p.119), may have
been affected, even subliminally, by his prejudices in dealing with
an officer surnamed 'Nolan'.
18. John Sweetman, Balaclava
1854 (London, 1990), p. 68.
19. Woodham-Smith, The Reason
Why, p. 244.
20. J. I. Nunnerley, Short Sketch of the
17th Lancers and Life of Sergeant-Major J. I. Nunnerley
(Liverpool, 1884), quoted by Bryan Perrett,
At All Costs! Stories of Impossible
Victories (London, 1993), p. 50. William Russell,
The Times (14 November 1854),
claimed that Nolan died "cheering them on"; see A. Lambert and S.
Badsey (ed.), The War Correspondents: The
Crimean War (Stroud, 1994), p. 115.
21. Nunnerley, quoted in Perrett, At All
Costs!, p. 50.
22. Figures from Mark Adkin, The
Charge (London 1996), p. 217.
23. Cardigan to Kinglake, quoted in Moyse-Bartlett,
Louis Edward Nolan, p. 223.
24. Anon, Aldershottana; or Chinks in My
Hut (London, 1856), pp. 192-3.
25. Dallas, ed. Hargreave Mawson,
Eyewitness in the Crimea, Letter
10 (27 October 1854), p.41.
26. Quoted Moyse-Bartlett, Louis Edward
Nolan, p. 234.
27.The documentary used computer graphics to demonstrate the
terrain and troop dispositions. There are useful diagrams and
topographical photographs in Adkin's book,
28.Quoted in Obituary,
The Illustrated London News, loc.
29. See also Sweetman,
Raglan, pp. 249-53 &
30. A. W. Kinglake, The Invasion of the
Crimea, vol. IV, 5th ed. (London, 1868), p.212, n., and
quoted in Moyse-Bartlett, Louis Edward
Nolan, pp. 243-4. I am grateful to David Kelsey re: his
and Belief", The War
Correspondent, Spring 2003, which addresses some of
the problems of evidence and interpretation: as it is impossible to
be sure what he was doing when he was hit, it's even more
difficult to establish why.
31. Major Colin Robins, "Lucan,
Cardigan and Raglan's Order", The
Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 75
(1997), pp. 86-92
32. Moyse-Bartlett, Louis Edward
Nolan, p. 250.
33. Thanks to Ralph Thompson and Douglas J. Austin for this
information. The inscription on George's memorial ran as follows:
IN MEMORY OF CAPTAIN GEORGE RUDDACH, ONLY SON OF THE
LATE CHARLES RUDDACH OF ADELPHI ESTATES TOBAGO, LATE OF 5TH REGIMENT
OF AUSTRIAN HUSSARS WHO DIED AT CONSTANTINOPLE ON 11 MAY 1854 AGED
44. THIS TABLET IS ERECTED BY HIS AFFECTIONATE MOTHER, THE WIDOW OF
THE LATE MAJOR NOLAN OF THE 70TH REGIMENT
Thanks to Dr Douglas J. Austin, Andrew J. Bethune (Edinburgh
Central Library), Jeremy Duncan (Local Studies Librarian of the A. K.
Bell Library, Perth), the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Committee,
Michael Hargreave Mawson, Rosemary Holmes, the late Ken Horton, David
Kelsey, Kay Oliver (and her Dad, Brian), Rodney Robinson, and Ralph
Thompson, Museum of the 15th/19th Hussars (Light Dragoons),
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for their assistance.
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Denkstein. Laßt die Rose
nur jedes Jahr zu seinen Gunsten blühn.
(Erect no gravestone. Let the Rose
every year bloom for his sake.)
Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus,