John George Farndale
Printer’s apprentice before he emigrated to Ontario (possibly via Australia)
He took part in the battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman and was at the Siege of Sebastopol
He then settled in Ontario where he was a labourer and then farmed.
Headlines of John Farndale’s life are in brown.
Dates are in red.
Hyperlinks to other pages are in dark blue.
References and citations are in turquoise.
Context and local history are in purple.
See also the Ontario Farndales.
The 1841 of Census, for Coatham Stob, Long Newton listed John Farndale, 45, a farmer; William Farndale, 10; Mary Farndale, 9; Teresa Farndale, 8; John Farndale, 5; Charles Farndale, 3; John Farndale, 15, male servant; Matthew Farndale, male servant, 12; John Malburn, 25, male servant; Thomas Shirt, 15, male servant; Mary Disson, 24, housekeeper.
The Census of 1851 for Skelton listed John H (sic) Fanndale, aged 14; a printer’s apprentice at Skelton, lodging with Timothy Robinson. This was the same year that his father, John Farndale who later became an author, was made bankrupt.
At some point John joined the army. It is probable that he did so under a false name. If he had not completed his apprenticeship, then the army would have been bound to hand him to the responsible authorities. There may also have been family disapproval at him joining the Army.
He appears to have joined
the Army with a fellow apprentice, Thomas Hind.
John George Farndale was a soldier in The Crimea. He may have initially joined the Coldstream Guards (he would have been aged about 15), and then joined the 28th Regiment of Foot.
There may have been some relationship between the Coldstream Guards and the 28th of foot. For instance the Morning Post, 27 December 1854: Lord Bownlow Cecil has been gazetted to a captaincy in the Coldstream Guards. His lordship has lately served in the 28th Foot.
The 28th Regiment of Foot was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1694. In 1881 the Regiment amalgamated with the 61st (South Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot to form the Gloucestershire Regiment. The Regiment served in India from 1842 to 1848 and fought at the Battle of Alma in September 1854, the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854 and the Siege of Sevastopol in winter 1854 during the Crimean War. It then served in India from 1858 to 1865, before spending further time in the Mediterranean.
On 16 July 1852, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Adams was in command and the 28th of Foot were stationed in Yorkshire, Tyneside and Northumberland areas. The Regiment was initially at Newcastle with detachments at Sunderland, Tynemouth and Carlisle. In May 1853, the Regimental Headquarters moved to Leeds, with detachments in Bradford, Hull, Scarborough and Barnsley.
The British Army Despatch, Horse Guards, Ordnance and East India Company's Military Service Record, 19 March 1852 recorded an order for units including the 28th Foot, from its headquarters in Newcastle, to send parties to Woolwich next week for practice at the Royal Arsenal and in the Marshes. The Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 15 May 1852 reported that a royal salute was fired for the Queen’s Birthday by detachments of artillery and the 28th Regiment of Foot from the Spanish Battery in the Castle Yard at Tynemouth. The Morning Herald (London) on 6 September 1852 reported that Captain Andrews of the 28th Regiment of Foot was engaged in interesting excavations at Tynemouth Priory. The Saint James's Chronicle, 20 November 1852 reported on the 28th Regiment of Foot’s part in the solemn ceremony at Newcastle upon Tyne on the death of Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington.
The York Herald, 18 June 1853 reported that the 28th Regiment of Foot were engaged in training the Second West York Light Infantry Regiment of Militia and ’making the privates proficient in military tactics’. The Yorkshire Gazette, 23 July 1853 reported: MILITARY ENCAMPMENT AT SCARBOROUGH. On Saturday last, detachments of the 28th Regiment of Foot arrived at Scarborough from Hull and Bradford, numbering together about 90 rank and file, and they're now encamped in the Castle Yard, for the purpose of practising rifle shooting with the Minie rifle. The practise commenced on Monday, and has continued during the week, attracting great numbers of spectators. Each detachment will be employed about 16 days in firing, when they will be relieved by other detachments from the same Regiment. The Northern Standard, 23 July 1853: STATIONS OF REGIMENTS AND DEPOTS TO THE 1ST JULY 1853: … Infantry … 28th – Newcastle … The Sun (London), 31 December 1853 reported on three companies of the 28th Foot being dispatched to help extinguish a fire at a warehouse in Bradford.
The Crimean War arose at a time of the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the expansion of Russia in the preceding Russo-Turkish Wars. The British and French preferred to preserve the Ottoman Empire to maintain the balance of power in central Europe. A flashpoint arose by a disagreement over the rights of Christian minorities in Palestine, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of the Catholics and Russia promoted the Eastern Orthodox Church. Napoleon III and Tsar Nicolas I of Russia each refused to back down. Nicholas sent an ultimatum demanding the orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire be placed under his protection. Britain attempted to mediate and Nicholas agreed to a compromise, but when the Ottomans demanded changes to the agreement, Nicholas prepared for War.
In July 1853 Russian Troops entered the Danubian Principalities (now part of Romania) and in October, with promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared War on Russia. The Ottomans led by Omar Pasha fought a strong defensive campaign.
By January 1854, the British and French were worried about an Ottoman defeat and entered the Black Sea. The Allies decided that they would attack Russia’s main naval base in the Black Sea at Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. The Italian Kingdom of Sardinia also sent an expeditionary force to Crimea to join the French, British and the Ottomans.
On 14 September 1854, The Allies, comprising the British, French, Ottoman and Sardinian Forces, landed at Eupatoira. They planned to march immediately upon Sevastopol (known as Sebastopol by the British), which was the capitol of The Crimea.
We know from his letters home (see below) that John George Farndale took part in the battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman and was at the Siege of Sebastopol.
22 February 1854
The 28th Regiment of Foot sailed for the Mediterranean.
The London Evening Standard, 11 February 1854: THE ACTIVE PREPARATIONNS FOR WAR. Every day, every hour, furnishes additional matter for observation and comment on the immense exertions being made to meet the requirements of the coming war, the campaign on land, the operations of our naval forces at sea. With respect to the Army, we may now repeat with confidence that the number of troops to be dispatched at once is 10,000 officers and men. But as many more will be held in readiness to reinforce the British contingent, should necessity demand their services in the east. If possible, the following will proceed on the 18th or 19th: three battalions of the Guards, 7th Regiment of Foot, 28th Regiment of Foot, 33rd Regiment of Foot, 79th Regiment of Foot, 2d Battalion of Rifles, 4 companies of Artillery...
The Sun (London), 13 February 1854: THE LINE REGIMENTS. The following, making 10 battalions of 1,000 strong each, are expected to embark immediately for the Mediterranean stations: … the 2d battalion of the Coldstream Guards, at present in the Tower of London … the 28th Foot, stationed at Leeds..,
The Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current, 17 February 1854: PREPARATIONS FOR WAR … on Thursday at noon, the 28th Regiment of Foot left Leeds, en route for Constantinople. Immense excitement attended their departure. From the barracks to the railway station they were most enthusiastically cheered by thousands of spectators, who filled the streets. It is estimated that no not less than 60,000 persons assembled to see them off. So strong a war spirit has never before been manifested in the town, and it was with difficulty that the soldiers could pass through the streets. The 28th went to Preston, and will embark probably on Saturday, on board the Niagara, at Liverpool, for their destination... The Yorkshire Gazette, 18 February 1854: The 28th Regiment of Foot marched from Leeds barracks on Wednesday en route for the East. They left the town amidst the greetings of thousands of spectators.
The Chelmsford Chronicle, 17 February 1854: THE WAR WITH RUSSIA … THE MILITARY EXPEDITION … the Government has chartered the Peninsula and Oriental Company’s steamers Himalaya, Ripon, and Manilla for the conveyance of troops. The three vessels will carry about 3,500 soldiers. The troops will be victualled by the company. … The number of troops to be dispatched at once is 10,000 officers and men, but as many more will be held in readiness to reinforce the British contingent, should necessity demand their services in the east. If possible the following will proceed on the 18th or 19th:... 28th Regiment of Foot …
The Albion, 20 February 1854: Wednesday is fixed for the departure of the 28th Regiment from Liverpool in the Niagara … 28th Regiment of Foot left Leeds on Monday, en route for Liverpool. Immense excitement attended their departure … Liverpool. The Cunard steamer Niagara, Captain Leitch, will take her departure from the Mersey, in her new character as one of her Majesty's troop ships, on Wednesday next, with the gallant 28th Regiment, about one thousand strong, on board. She is now in the river, her fittings having been completed, and received the approbation of the Admiralty agents. The figurehead and cutwater of the Niagara have been removed. On the exciting occasion of the embarkation, she will in all probability be anchored in the Sloyne, and the troops will be taken on board by one of the Cunard’s tenders, either from the Prince’s Pier or the Great Landing Stage. The 28th regiment is now at Preston. They will enter the town, it is thought, on Wednesday, when we have no doubt they will receive in enthusiastic reception from her Majesty's good lieges of Liverpool. The 28th Regiment distinguished itself at Quartre Bras, and has on its colours Corunna, Albuera, Vittoria, and Waterloo...
The Liverpool Mail, 25 February 1854: EMBARKATION OF TROOPS FROM LIVERPOOL. Few events of late years have created so great a sensation in Liverpool as the embarkation of the 28th Regiment of Foot for Malta, which took place on Wednesday morning. From an early hour the streets, more particularly in the neighbourhood of the Tithebarn Street Station and the Exchange Buildings were filled by a dense crowd of persons, of every class of the community, high, low, rich and poor, all animated by the same excitement and the desire of bidding farewell to one of the most famous Regiments in the service, previous to its departure for the East, to defend the honour of Great Britain and humble the presumption of the universally detested Russians. The Liverpool Albion, 27 February 1854: EMBARKATION OF TROOPS FROM LIVERPOOL. On Wednesday morning four companies of the 28th Regiment of Foot, being in all about 850 men, rank and file, arrived at Liverpool by the East Lancashire Railway, from Preston, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Adams. A large and enthusiastic multitude of people followed them, cheering vehemently, to the Exchange Area, and thence to the landing stage, where they were speedily embarked on board the Cunard steamer Niagara, Leitch, commander, which lay at anchor in the Sloyne. The scene of embarkation was intensely spirited...
The Westmeath Guardian and Longford News-Letter, 20 April 1854. DEPARTURE OF THE TROOPS FROM MALTA. MALTA, APRIL 7TH. … The Cyclops and the Vesuvius, with the 28th Regiment and two companies of the 50th Regiment are ready for sea …
14 September 1854
On 4 November 1854, John Farndale wrote to his father that he had landed without opposition September 14th, and started for Alma on the 18th.
20 September 1854
On 4 November 1854, John Farndale wrote to his father: On the 20th we were before Alma, and commenced the attack about eleven o’clock against 50,000 Russians, and defeated them after three hours’ cannonading and musketry; and it took us two days to bury the dead, and send our wounded on board ship for Scurati.
The Battle of Alma. The first battle of the War. An Anglo French Force defeated the Russian opposition. Alma was the first major encounter fought in the Crimean Peninsula since the Allied landings at Kalamita Bay on 14 September, and was a clear battlefield success; but a tardy pursuit by the Allies failed to gain a decisive victory, allowing the Russians to regroup, recover and prepare their defence.
Map of the Battle of Alma
The Sligo Journal, 27 October 1854 reported an official return of wounded at the Alma, from the general hospital at Scutari, at Instanbul, where Florence Nightgale made her name. It reported 582 wounded between 22 and 28 October, with 72 amputations, and a further 500 admitted since 28 September.
Early October 1854
John George Farndale continued: We then started for Sebastopol, and reached it after eight or nine days’ march; we had to go a great way round. As soon as we got in front and settled, we commenced throwing up batteries and breast works, under fire of the enemy. We finished them after about five days and nights’ hard working, and opened fire on them on the 17th of last month, and have been battering away ever since, and are likely to continue doing so for some time to come. We have greater opposition than we expected. There was a faint attack made on our rear army a few days ago, which cut up our cavalry fearfully, but were defeated in the end. Our loss is not so great, considering all the circumstances of the case. I have escaped as yet, thank God! I have had a narrow escape: one morning, as we were relieving guard, two privates and a sergeant were shot close by me with one ball.
The Allies decided against a slow assault on Sebastopol and instead prepared for a protracted siege. The British, under the command of Lord Raglan, and the French, under Canrobert, positioned their troops to the south of the port on the Chersonese Peninsula: the French Army occupied the bay of Kamiesch on the west coast whilst the British moved to the southern port of Balaclava. French and British engineers started to build siege lines along the uplands south of Sebastopol, from their base at Balaklava. By 5 October the Allies had 120 guns ready to fire and the Russians had about three times as many. An artillery battle began. The Allied Fleet pounded Russian defences.
However, the Allied position committed the British to the defence of the right flank of the Allied siege operations, for which Raglan had insufficient troops.
The Daily News (London), 7 November 1854: NOMINAL RETURN OF CASULATIES FROM OCTOBER 18 TO 21, 1854, BOTH DAYS INCLUSIVE: … 28TH REGMENT OF FOOT. Killed: Colour Sergeant W Faulkner, and Private S Door. WOUNDED – Privates J Bailey, P Daley, J Tinson, J Tinson, F Cavan.
Lord Raglan’s dispatches were reported in the Dublin Evening Mail, 8 November 1854: FURTHER OFFICIAL DESPATCHES. “Before Sebastopol, Oct 23. MY LORD DUKE. The operations of the siege have been carried on unremittingly since I addressed your grace on the 18th instant. On that afternoon, the French batteries not having been able to reopen, the enemy directed their guns almost exclusively on the British entrenchments cover and maintained a very heavy fire upon them till the day closed, with less damage, I am happy to say, to the works, and with fewer casualties, than might have been anticipated.... A considerable body of Russians appeared 2 days ago in the vicinity of Balaclava, but they have since withdrawn and are no longer to be seen on our front...”
25 October 1854
The Battle of Balaklava. This gave the Russians a morale boost and convinced them that the Allied lines were spread too thinly.
The battle began with a Russian artillery and infantry attack on the Ottoman redoubts that formed Balaclava's first line of defence on the Vorontsov Heights. The Ottoman forces initially resisted the Russian assaults, but lacking support they were eventually forced to retreat.
When the redoubts fell, the Russian cavalry moved to engage the second defensive line in the South Valley, held by the Ottoman and the British 93rd Highland Regiment in what came to be known as the "Thin Red Line". This line held and repulsed the attack; as did General 's British Heavy Brigade who charged and defeated the greater proportion of the cavalry advance, forcing the Russians onto the defensive. However, a final Allied cavalry charge, stemming from a misinterpreted order from Raglan, led to one of the most famous and ill-fated events in British military history – the Charge of the Light Brigade.
The thin red line The charge of the light brigade
The Charge of the Light Brigade, BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
The Hereford Journal, 15 November 1854:
THE BATTLE OF BALAKLAVA.
English (sic, recte British) Killed, 190; Wounded, 365. …
LORD RAGLAN TO THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE
Before Sebastopol, October 28, 1854
The enemy attacked the position in front of Balaclava at an early hour on the morning of the 25th inst.
The low range of heights that runs across the plain at the bottom of which the town is placed, was protected by four small redoubts hastily constructed. Three of these had guns in them, and on a higher hill before the village of Camara, in advance of our right flank, was established a work of somewhat more importance....
These several redoubts were garrisoned by Turkish troops, no other force being at my disposal for their occupation.
The 93rd Highlanders was the only British Regiment in the plain, with the exception of a battalion of detachments composed of weakly men, and a battery of artillery belonging to the third division; and on the heights behind our right were placed the marines...
The enemy commence their operation by attacking the work on our side of the village of Camara, and, after very little resistance, carried it.
They likewise got possession of the three others in contiguity to it, being opposed only in one, and that but for a very short space of time.
The furthest of the three they did not retain, but the immediate abandonment of the others enabled them to take possession of the guns in them, amounting in whole to seven. Those in three lesser forts were spiked by the one English artillerymen who was in each.
The Russian cavalry at once advanced supported by artillery in very great strength. One portion of them are assailed to the front and right flank of the 93rd, and were instantly driven back by the vigorous and steady fire of that distinguished regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Ainsley.
The other and larger mass turned towards Her Majesty's heavy cavalry, and afforded Brigadier General Scarlett, under the guidance of Lieutenant General the Earl of Lucan, the opportunity of inflicting upon them a most signal defeat. The ground was very unfavourable for the attack of our dragoons, but no obstacle was sufficient to check their advance, and they charged into the Russian column, which soon sought safety in flight, although far in far superior in numbers.
The charge of this brigade was one of the most successful I ever witnessed, was never for a moment doubtful, and is in the highest degree creditable to Brigadier General Scarlett and the officers and men who engaged in it.
As the enemy withdrew from the ground which they had momentarily occupied, I directed the cavalry, supported by the 4th division, under Lieutenant General Sir George Cathcart, to move forward, and take advantage of at any opportunity to regain the heights; and not having been able to accomplish this immediately, and it appearing that an attempt was making to remove the captured guns, the Earl of Lucan was desired to advance rapidly, follow the enemy in their retreat, and tried to prevent them from affecting their objects.
In the meanwhile the Russians had time to reform on their own ground, with artillery in front and upon their flanks.
From some misconception of the instruction to advance, the Lieutenant General considered that he was bound to attack at all hazards, and he accordingly ordered Major General the Earl of Cardigan to move forward with the light brigade.
This order was obeyed in the most spirited and gallant manner. Lord Cardigan charged with the utmost vigour, attacked a battery which was firing upon the advancing squadrons, and, having passed beyond it, engaged the Russian cavalry in its rear; but there his troops were assailed by artillery and infantry, as well as cavalry, and necessarily retired, after having committed much havoc upon the enemy. …
The Earl of Lucan not having sent me the names of the other officers who distinguished themselves, I proposed to forward them by my next opportunity.
The enemy made no further movement in advance, and at the close of the day, the brigade of Guards of the 1st Division and the 4th division returned to their original encampment, as did the French troops, with the exception of 1 brigade of the first vision, which General Canrobert was so good as to leave in support of Sir Robert Sir Colin Campbell.
The remaining regiments of the Highland Brigade also remained in the valley. …
CASULATIES FROM 22ND TO 26TH OCTOBER, INCLUSIVE … 28th Foot: 1 wounded.
The Daily News (London), 18 November 1854. LISTS OF KILLED AND WOUNDED … October 25 … 28th REGIMENT OF FOOT. WOUNDED. Private Edmd Flaherty, slightly.
4 November 1854
John George Farndale wrote:
“Heights of Sebastopol, November 4th, 1854.
I received your letter of 26th of last month, and was glad to hear that you were all well and in the enjoyment of health. I suppose your papers in England say that Sebastopol is taken, but I can tell you very differently. It is now seventeen days since we commenced the attack on the town, and there is no sign of it being taken yet. I thought we should have had it by now, but I assure you it is no easy task.
Since I wrote last we have had great ravages in the army – the first by sickness; then the cholera came amongst us and swept a great many away.
We then went on board for Russia, in the latter part of August, and landed without opposition September 14th, and started for Alma on the 18th. On the 20th we were before Alma, and commenced the attack about eleven o’clock against 50,000 Russians, and defeated them after three hours’ cannonading and musketry; and it took us two days to bury the dead, and send our wounded on board ship for Scurati.
We then started for Sebastopol, and reached it after eight or nine days’ march; we had to go a great way round. As soon as we got in front and settled, we commenced throwing up batteries and breast works, under fire of the enemy. We finished them after about five days and nights’ hard working, and opened fire on them on the 17th of last month, and have been battering away ever since, and are likely to continue doing so for some time to come. We have greater opposition than we expected. There was a faint attack made on our rear army a few days ago, which cut up our cavalry fearfully, but were defeated in the end. Our loss is not so great, considering all the circumstances of the case. I have escaped as yet, thank God! I have had a narrow escape: one morning, as we were relieving guard, two privates and a sergeant were shot close by me with one ball.
I think I have given you all particulars up to the present.
Next time I write, I hope Sebastopol will have fallen.
Your affectionate son.
John George Farndale.”
5 November 1854
The Battle of Inkerman. The Russians were defeated, so moved their forces inside the city.
The Leeds Times, 25 November 1854: RETURN OF CASUALTIES FROM 2ND TO 6TH NOVEMBER, 1854, INCLUSIVE … 28th Regiment – 1 rank and file wounded … The London Evening Standard, 12 December 1854: November 6. 28th Regiment of Foot. Private 2259 Christopher Manison.
Towards the end of November a winter storm ruined the Allied camp and supply lines and men and horses starved in the appalling conditions.
The Sun (London), 12 December 1854. War department, 10 AM, December 11. His Grace the Duke of Newcastle has this day received dispatches and enclosures, of which the following are copies to his grace by Field Marshall the Lord Raglan, GCB. No 110. Before Sebastopol, November 23, 1854. My Lord Duke. The Russian advanced posts in front of our left attack having taken up a position which incommoded our troops in the trenches, and occasioned not a few casualties, and at the same time took in reverse the French troops working in their lines, a representation of which was made to me by our own officers... The weather is again very bad comma and steady rain is constantly falling. I attach the niominal luist of killed and wopunded at thebattle of Inkerman … 28th Foot – 1 rank and file wounded. …
The Nottinghamshire Guardian, 28 December 1854: RETURN OF CASUALTIES FROM THE 27TH OF NOVEMBER TO THE 5TH OF DECEMBER, BOTH DAYS INCLUSIVE … 28TH Foot – 2 rank and file killed; 8 rank and file wounded … J B BUCKNALL ESTCOURT, Adjutant General … NOMINAL RETURN OF NON COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN KILLED, FROM THE 27TH OF NOVEMBER TO THE 5TH OF DECEMBER, BOTH DAYS INCLUSIVE … Killed, November 29, 28th Regiment of Foot – Private Michael Fitzgerald … December 5 … 28th Regiment of Foot – Private Patten Smith … The Weekly Chronicle (London), 30 December 1854: Nominal return of Non comissioned officers and men killd from 27th November to 5th December, 1854 … Killed … 28th Regiment olf Foolt – Private Patten Smith … WOUNDED … 28th Regiment of Foot – Private James Steale, slightly …
The Limerick and Clare Examiner, 3 January 1855: 5th December … 28th Regiment of Foot – Privates – Joseph Take, severely; Michael Hagerty, severely; Patrick Kelly, slightly; S Mountain, severely, T C Irwin, slightly.
The Sun (London), 9 January 1855: Dec 22 … 28th Regiment of Foot. Private Charles Smith, slightly …
John Farndale was promoted to Lance Corporal, in about January 1855.
The Dublin Evening Mail, 1 January 1855:
DESPATCH FROM LORD RAGLAN.
… Before Sebastopol, December 13.
WAR DEPARTMENT, DEC 20th 10,30AM. His Grace the Duke of Newcastle has this day received a dispatch, of which the following is a copy, addressed to his Grace by Field Marshall Lord Raglan GCB:
My Lord Duke. Your grace will be happy to hear that the weather has continued fine.
Since the time I had the honour to address your Grace, on the 8th instant, the enemy has made no movement of importance, and nothing of any consequence has taken place before Sebastapol.
The Russians moved upon our advanced picquets in front of our left attack the night before last, in some force, but they were instantly driven back by a detachment of the first battalion rifle brigade on the right, and by one of the 46th on the left. The firing, however, was kept up for some time, and the third and fourth divisions were held in readiness to support in case their assistance should be required.
I enclose the return of casualties to the 10th instant. I am etc...
28th Regiment – 2 rank and file, killed; 8 rank and file wounded …
Soime of John’s colleagues were being evacuated to Scutari, under the care of Florence Nightingale in January 1855. The London Evening Standard, 3 February 1855: THE SICK AND DEAD AT SCUTARI, JAN 22 … Private Charles Bridgewater, 28th Foot, dysentery, Jan 19 … Private John Palmer, 28th Regt, diarrhoea, Jan 16 …
John Farndale was laid up in my tent with frost bitten feet nearly all this month, but I am better again and fit for duty and later wrote:
John George Farndale wrote:
“Camp before Sebastopol.
I now take the first opportunity of writing to you hoping you are in good health as I am at present. I received your letter on the 5th of this month and also the newspaper and was glad to hear from you.
You are in great haste to hear from me again, you hardly will give time to write! I have been for writing all this month but had not the ink. I had to send to Balaclava for it.
I have had capitol health ever since I landed in the Crimea, thank God for it. I can assure you there is very few of the old hands left now of what came out with us from England.
The Colonel received your letter and thinks that I never write to you by the way you write.
As to the promotion you were talking about, I received the Lance Stripe about a month ago. The Colonel promised to push me forward if I minded myself, but he was afraid to promote me sooner on account of being so very young.
You also mention in your last that you heard from D W Waldy that I was slightly wounded. I never received any wound more than a slight cut on the nose from a stone that was sent up from a ball.
The siege is progressing very slowly but I think we will soon open a new siege. Things begin to look a little better. We have received the winter clothing and are getting provisions a little better. We want the wooden houses next, although I think as we have done so long without, we could manage without them altogether. However I hope that before you get this, Sebastopol will be ours and then we will be thinking about returning to old England again.
I think I have given you all the news I can at present.
The Colonel will send you a few lines in this letter of mine.
I am getting tired and want to go to bed, so I must conclude with kind love to brothers and sisters and all enquiring friends. I accept the same yourself.
Your affectionate son.
J G Farndale.”
There appears to be a reference to an Edward Waldy appointed Ensign to the 28th Foot in the Globe on 16 July 1853. The Northern Standard, 23 July 1853 refered to Edward Garntonsvay Waldy, a gentleman appointed as Ensign to 28th Foot. The Newcastle Journal, 7 October 1854: Northern officers in the Crimea. The following officers, connected with families in this immediate district, are now engaged in the Expeditionary force in the east, and no doubt shared in the dangers and glories of the battle of Alma and the operations before Sebastapol. In the absence of official returns, as to the killed and wounded on these sanguinary occasions, the fate of our gallant countrymen is an object to the deepest interest to their families and friends. That they may have been mercifully preserved in the awful struggle to which they have been exposed, and that they may have distinguished themselves by acts of courage and humanity in a manner worthy of their country and county, is the ardent wish of all who are familiar with their brave and noble spirits: … Ensign Edw G Waldy, 28th Foot, son of T W Waldy, Esq of Eaglescliffe. The Newcastle Courant, 13 October 1854: THE KILLED ASND WOULDED OFFICERS. … Besides the above, the following oficers, connected with the families of this immediate district, are engaged in the Expeditionary Forces in the Eatys, and no doubt bared the dangers and glories of the Battle of Alma, and the operations before Sebastopol: … Ensign Edward G Waldy, 28th Foot, son of T W Waldy, Esq if Eaglescliffe … The Durham County Advertiser, 13 October 1854. THE OFFICERS IN THE CRIMEA. The following is a list of the officers connected with families in the North of England, who are now serving in the Crimean expedition: … Ensign Edward G Waldy, 28th Foot, son of T W Waldy, Esq if Eaglescliffe …
Easglescliffe is a borough of Stockton on Tees. So this must be the Ensign whose farther was D (T sic?) W Waldy in John Farndale’s letter.
The Nottinghamshire Guardian, 15 February 1855: AUGMENTATION OF INFANTRY AND CAVALRY. The following infantry regiments are forthwith to have each a second battalion of 190 companies of 100 men each, thus increasing their strength respectively by 1,000 bayonets, viz … 28th Foot …
The Hampshire Advertiser, 17 February 1855:
DESPATCH FROM LORD RAGLAN.
Before Sebastopol, January 27. My Lord Duke, I have the satisfaction to acquaint your Grace that the weather continues fine. There are severe frosts at night; but the sun shines brightly through the day, and there is an absence of wind, which , while it continued, added considerably to the sufferings of the troops. Every exertion is making by public transport and individually in getting huts up; but this is the most difficult operation, and the ground is so rotten that it is a most arduous labour to pass along it. The extremely confined space of Balaclava, and the vast accumulation of stores, have obliged me to erect huts at some distance outside the town for their reception. I enclose the list of casualties to the 25th inst inclusive. I have etc, Raglan, His grace the Duke of Newcastle etc.
Nominal return of non commissioned officers and privates wounded from the 22nd to the 23rd of January inclusive. Wounded January 22: ... 28th Regiment of Foot - Private John Rogers, slightly. … January 24. 28th Regiment of Foot - Private Richard M’Gainey, severely... January 25. 28th Regiment of Foot - Private Patrick Hogan, severely.
The Allies started to restore their supply lines after the winter ended. A new Grand Crimean Central Railway was built by the end of March 1855 and brought supplies to Balaklava and the siege lines, delivering over 500 guns and significant amounts of ammunition. The Allies resumed their bombardment on 8 April 1855.
John George Farndale wrote:
“Camp before Sebastopol. 1855
I now hasten to answer your letter which I received this morning. I was glad to hear from I assume you! My father oft mentions you in his letters. I have had a letter written these two or three days waiting for the mail to send to father. I have to say you have had all particulars from him about the war. You ask when will we get into Sebastopol? I can tell you we are making great preparations. We are getting a great many more guns than we had before, and mortars which will fire 112 pounders, which will shake Sebastopol. And if they do not give up then, we will storm it by force. English, French and Turks. There will be a great many lives lost in taking it, we have lost all our army we have brought with us. They are all young soldiers who have come out last.
If I live to see it over and get back to old England again, which by the blessing of God I hope to do, I will tell you tales that will make your hair stand on end!
You ask if all accounts were true about what I sent you. I can assure you it was but too true.
Now the weather is a great deal warmer and better provisions.
When the main army has gone to the grave, any man who has got …”
A 13 inch mortar in action, 1855
On 24 August 1855 the Allies started their most severe bombardment.
The Battle of Tchernaya.
The Battle of Redan. The British assault on the Great Redan failed.
8 September 1855
The Battle of Malakoff. The French seized the Malakoff redoubt, making the Russian defence untenable.
On 28 August 1855 the Russians abandoned the southern side of Sebastopol. The fall of Sebastopol led to Russia’s defeat in the Crimean War, but cost heavy Allied casualties. The Crimean War was one of the first campaigns which used techniques of modern warfare including explosive naval shells, railways and telegraphs. But the War showed significant logistical, medical and tactical failures and led to the professionalism of medicine led by Florence Nightingale. The Imperial Russian Army would take decades to recover and the defeat would be a catalyst for social reforms and the abolition of serfdom in Russia.
Crimean War Medal of Ralph Webster of 28th Regiment in Crimea
Research Notes regarding John Farndale’s service during the Crimean War.
It is very difficult to track him down to the military records. It seems likely that he used an assumed name, as a runway apprentice.
The Gorst Research:
… I am therefore sure that he was with the 28th Regiment of foot under an assumed name. One piece of information gives reason for this. Besides the probable family disapproval is the fact that he was a runaway apprentice. If he had not completed his apprenticeship, then the Army would have been bound to hand him over to the responsible authorities. The Army or Regiment had no choice in the matter. It was clearly laid down in the muster books that any apprentice who had not completed his time had upon discovery to be given up. Therefore if John George Farndale did run away from an uncompleted apprenticeship, then he would have had to enlist under a false name. One of the questions on the attestation papers signed by any recruit was concerned with any apprenticeship….
The Dagger & Dagger research:
The Hilary Marshall research:
After the Crimean Wars, the 28th of Foot served in India from 1858 to 1865.
There was a Pte John Farndale, discharged from the Grenadier Regiment of Guards on 25 May 1872, of very good character. This doesn’t match the date he went to Canada, but it is possible that he went to Canada a little later, after he was discharged. As we know John George Farndale was promoted to Lance Corporal in January 1855, this probably wasn’t him.
John George Farndale, went to Canada in 1870 and there is an un-substantiated story that he went to Australia first. He lived the rest of his life in Ontario Canada (Family letters).
John George Farndale visited England twice in 1890 and in 1901. See Letters.
John George Farndale, 43, a Methodist, the son of John and Martha Farndale, of Yorkshire, England (FAR00217), married Elizabeth Sanderson aged 27, a Methodist, daughter of Richard and Martha Sanderson of Vaughan, Ontario, at Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, on 24th March 1880. The witnesses were Thomas and Jane Sanderson. The Reverend J Thompson officiated. (MC).
The 1881 Census for Vaughan listed John G Farindail (John G Farndale), 43, a labourer and Lisebeth Farindail, 29.
Charles Farndale was born Ontario on 21 May 1881 (FAR00572), the son of John Farndale and Elizabeth nee Saunders. John was a labourer of Lot 18, Vaughan (Family letters).
George Farndale was born Ontario on 20 December 1882 (FAR00580), the son of John George Farndale and Elizabeth nee Sanderson. John was a labourer at Vaughan (Family letters).
Albert Farndale was born Ontario 5 May 1884 (FAR00598), the son of J Farndale and Elizabeth Sanderson. John was a farmer, lot 18, con 10, Vaughan (Family letters).
Mark Farndale was born Ontario 6 December 1885 (FAR00603) (Family letters).
Martha Teresa (“Teresa”) Farndale, born Ontario 3 December 1887 (FAR00624). Daughter of John George Farndale and Elizabeth Sanderson. John was a farmer , Elders Mills PO (Family letters).
This photograph is of John George Farndale and his family taken in about 1887 in Canada - his family left to right are George, Teresa, Mark, Charles and Albert
Annie (Anne) Maria Farndale was born Ontario 25 October 1889 (FAR00636). Annie Maria Farndale, daughter of John George Farndale and Elizabeth Sanderson. John had Canadian citizenship and was a farmer. Annie was born at Smithfield, Etobicoke, York, Ontario. Their medical practice was at Woodbridge Ontario. Etobikoke is now a district of Toronto (Family letters)
The 1891 Census of Canada for Etobicoke, York West, Ontario listed John G Farndle, 52, a farm labourer, methodist; Elizabeth Farndle, 39; Charles Farndle, 10; George Farndle, 8; Albert Farndle, 7; Mark Farndle, 5; Martha T Farndle, 3; Anne M Farndle, 1; Jonathan Farr, 25, domestic, Sarah B Farr, 22, his wife
John’s wife, Elizabeth died in 1893.
The 1901 Census for Peel District, Chinquacousy listed John Ferndale, 64, a farm labourer and widow. Hourly wage 300. Born 26 October 1836. Boarding with others.
John George Farndale, died on 21st February 1909 at Chinquacousy, Ontario aged 72, a widower, farm labourer of Yorkshire, England (DC).
John George Farndale was buried at Brampton Cemetery, Ontario with his wife Elizabeth and his daughter Martha Teresa, who died on 7th January 1986, aged 99, a spinster (Burial Records).
Gravestone at Brampton Cemetery, Brampton, Peel Municipality, Ontario.