The Crimea 1855
|A Company Officer,
Suakin 70th Regiment 1855.
Fears of Russian power in Europe led to the declaration of war against her by Great Britain and France in March 1854. An Army was deployed to the Dardanelles to support the Turks and the allies landed in the Crimea in September. The 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment arrived there as reinforcements from Corfu in May 1855. The Regiment immediately became involved in the assaults on Sevastopol, which lasted between June and September.
|A Sergeant of the Battalion Company of the 31st Regiment, Crimea 1854.|
During the first assault on the town, a detachment under the command of Captain Leeson captured a line of Russian trenches, which had taken a heavy toll of the French. This was done at the point of the bayonet and earned Leeson and three of his men the Legion d’Honneur.
A fourth man from the detachment gained the Medaille Militaire. A second assault on Sevastopol occurred and after heavy casualties on both sides, the Russians eventually evacuated the town by night.
The 31st joined the rest of the assaulting troops on their occupation and then helped prepare the defences against an expected counter- attack that never happened. Casualties in the Regiment amounted to two officers and one hundred and twelve men during the Crimean campaign and the battle honour of SEVASTOPOL was added to the Colours.