POCKET HERCULES: Captain Morris


POCKET HERCULES: Captain Morris

M. J. TROW    Book Number: 87297    Product format: Hardback

Captain William Morris was in the front rank during the Charge of the Light Brigade and one of the first horsemen to reach the Russian guns. He was wounded severely but survived and this is his story. Trow gives a fascinating insight into the officer class that fought the Crimean War. He reconstructs his formative years in an army career in India and then Ireland with the 17th Lancers. In India he saw action at Sabraon, Ferozepur and Aliwal, and learnt his trade as a soldier and cavalryman. Then came his fateful posting to the Crimea. William Morris of Barbados died in Exeter and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 23rd February, 1796. He came from an equestrian family from Devon and was born into a turbulent time, one of the Cato Street Conspirators, the last criminals in British history to be decapitated, such was the inaccuracy of the art of hanging. His childhood was no doubt careless and unaware as it was for most children of the leisured classes. Sent up to Cambridge University, "he was reading for his degree when he was gazetted." Why did Morris join the Army? Why the Cavalry? And why the 16th Lancers? There was a vacancy for a cornet, the most junior officer in the cavalry regiments, and the commission was sealed on the 7th September 1843. A whirlwind of activity ensued. The 16th Lancers were stationed at Meerut in northern India, a small skeleton force. Kitted out by the regimental tailors, his passage took a staggering eight months, via the Cape of Good Hope and into the Indian Ocean. Here are revelations about the hidebound character of the British Army of the era and the inefficiency and carelessness that marred its reputation. The portraits of his fellow officers and commanders like Nolan, Raglan and Lucan are telling, as is the contrast between Morris and his incompetent superior Cardigan. Morris died young of dysentery at Poona in India during another bitter campaign against the Indian mutineers. 170pp, illus.
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ISBN 9781844153787
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