Dr. M. M. Gilchrist

(revised and updated from articles in
Dispatch: the Journal of the Scottish Military Historical Society, Spring 1998, pp. 12-15,
and in the archives of the 15th/19th Hussars, Newcastle-on-Tyne)

(Signature and picture detail: Museum of the 15th/19th Hussars, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.)
Louis Nolan

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 country.

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. Ruddach.

Marriage Register Entry, Perth

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 Paymaster.

79-80 Queen Street, Edinburgh

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 service.

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 Gallery for 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 uniforms:

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, & c.?6

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 general12

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 potato-famine victims.13

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 camp.14

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.
R. Airey
Immediate -

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 cavalry.17

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 body".23

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 conclusive.

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 stated:

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 other.26

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 part-dramatised Secret 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 self-interest.29

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 manœuvre 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.

A 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 known.

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 painting(now in 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.


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 Balaclava.

1. Perth Register of Marriages for July 1813; correspondence with Jeremy Duncan, Local Studies Librarian, A. K. Bell Library, Perth, February 1995.

2. The Perthshire Courier (28 April, 1814).

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 restaurant, 80 Queen Street, which serves excellent food. See Tour page.

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.

11. Obituary, The Illustrated London News, loc. cit.

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 Balaklava.

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, op. cit..

28.Quoted in Obituary, The Illustrated London News, loc. cit.

29. See also Sweetman, Raglan, pp. 249-53 & 271-2.

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 article "Evidence 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:

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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Errichtet keinen 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, I:5