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  • Writer's pictureCarol Harris

Crimean Connection

The Coldstream Guards at the Battle of the Alma -- painting by Orlando Norie

In 1902, the Oxford Times reported on the death of a former resident of Blythe Hill, who probably named his home after one of the battles he fought in during the Crimean War. When Anthony Talbot lived at 14 Blythe Hill, it was known as Alma Cottage. The Alma was the first battle of the Crimean War.

Here's the newspaper report:

Death of Oxfordshire Crimean Veterans

We regret to record the deaths quite recently of two veterans of the Crimean campaign belonging to this county, each of whom served in the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards for 21 years and both took part in the battles of Alma, Balaclava, and Inkermann, and the siege of Sebastopol, and were both wounded.

The first was Mr. Anthony Frewin Talbot, a native of Clifton Hampden, who died about three weeks since at his residence, Alma House, Blythe Hill, Catford, at the age of 79.

At Inkermann he was the sergeant-major of his regiment, and in that engagement was severely wounded, and after being in hospital at Scutari for some time was invalided home.

He possessed the English medal with four clasps, the Turkish medal, and also the medal for long service and good conduct, and on his return to England he received an appointment at the Royal Exchange and became identified with the London Rifle Brigade at its formation, from the members of which he received many valuable marks of appreciation.

The closing years of his life were spent in quiet retirement with his wife and some of his family at Catford. His remains were interred at Nunhead cemetery.

Oxford Times - Saturday 08 March 1902

Battles of the Crimean War in which he fought:

The Alma Sept 1854

Balaclava Oct 1854

Siege of Sebastapol Oct 1854-Sept ‘55

Inkerman Nov 1854

We do not know, but can speculate that he might have met Florence Nightingale, who arrived with her team of nurses at the hospital in Scutari in November 1754.

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