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country in the Crimea. I am sure there is no one who
is more sensible than my noble friend of the difficulties
that attend the dispensation of such honours as those to
which he has referred. He will admit that it would
not be right, in the case of a protracted war, or even of
a long campaign, that clasps of honour should be granted
to the gallantry of our soldiers in engagements
unattended with any important results. I believe, therefore,
that, although no general rule has been laid down,
yet it is recognised as a principle that clasps should not
be granted for general actions except when those general
actions have led to victory. I do not think it can be
said that the battle of Balaklava was one of those
actions, although there can be no doubt that every man
engaged in that battle was as fully entitled to a mark
of merit as any man engaged either at the battle of
Alma or of Inkermann, which unquestionably came
under that category. There might, I think, be some
doubt, at least, on that point; but, in such a case, the
benefit of the doubt ought to be given to the party
most interested, and therefore I beg to inform your
lordships that Her Majesty has directed that a clasp
shall be given for the action of Balaklava. I trust
it may not be considered by our military authorities
that we are departing from the rules of the army in
granting these clasps to the army engaged in the battle
of Balaklava, but I do think, after the comments made
upon that action, it would be in the highest degree
unjust to withhold a mark of honour from those gallant
men. My lords, I must say, with all deference to those
who have been engaged in other battles, that there
cannot be adduced from the annals of warfare, ancient
or modern, instances of greater gallantry, or of greater
self-devotion, than wure shown, both by officers and
men, at the battle of Balaklava. Having disposed of
this point, I come to the second topic to which the noble
duke has referrednamely, the defective distribution
of the Crimean medal. Undoubtedly, it was not
intended that the medal should be confined to the
soldiers only who were engaged in the battles of Alma
and Inkermann; nor was it intended to be confined to
the sailors; but, in giving the Crimean medal, it was
not only granted to the soldiers engaged in those actions,
but also to the sailors, who were as highly entitled to it
as the soldiers, they having rendered most valuable
assistance to the troops. From the very firstit was
intended so to dispense the medals, and, if there has
been any misapprehension on the subject, I beg to
repeat that it has always been intended that the Crimean
medal should be given not only to all the officers and
soldiers of the army, but to all the members of the
navy engaged in that part of the world. I now come to
the third point, namely, the granting of medals to the
representatives of those who have fallen in battle.
I agree with my noble friend, that if the family of
those who have fallen in these engagements can derive
any consolation from the possession of that medal which
would have been given to the member of their family if
he had survived, it is right that the country should
confer it. My noble friend has correctly observed, that
the difficulty which heretofore existed in that respect in
consequence of the medals being granted so long after
the services for which they were conferred, did no longer
exist; and that if a new precedent were set on this
occasion, and a retrospective character were given to it,
my noble friend would not be unwilling to aid in
carrying it out, unless there existed an utter impossibility
of doing so. I may, therefore, inform my noble
friend and your lordships, that it is proposed by Her
Majesty's government that medals shall be given, not
only to all the survivors engaged in, but also to the
representatives of all the officers and soldiers who fell in
the various actions in the Crimea. My noble friend
will, of course, see, that in order to render this boon of
any value, it is absolutely necessary that the name of
the individual should be engraved upon the medal.
When first the medal was proposed, it was thought it
might be of great advantage to send it out at an early
period to the brave men who had earned it by their
valour; but in granting the medal in the manner it is
now proposed to do, some three or four months must
necessarily elapse before it can be completed, and I hope
this period of delay will not be attributed to neglect on
the part of Her Majesty's government. We are
anxiously waiting to complete them, and I am sure that
the country will approve of what I have now announced.
The Earl of HARDWICKE said that nothing could
be more satisfactory or more liberal than the announcement
which the house had just heard. At the same
time, he must remark that such rewards might be made
too cheap, and, so far as the service with which he was
connected was concerned, he was sure that, if the
medals were indiscriminately given, they would be
despised, instead of being prized.—The Earl of
ELLENBOROUGH said that the question raised by Lord
Hardwicke was one of great importance. Having
distributed some 60,000 medals, he was in a position to
pronounce an opinion, and he was sure that there was
only one rule to be adhered to, and that was to give no
medal except for distinguished services under fire. He
rejoiced to hear that such rewards were about to be
given to the cavalry who were engaged at Balaklava;
he rejoiced also that the seamen were to share in that
reward; but he hoped that the medal would be given
not to all the seamen serving in the Black Sea, but only
to such as were actually engaged on shore or in the
attack on the 17th of October. He regretted that there
should have been any hesitation on the part of the
government, for what gallant men, whether they were
soldiers or sailors, especially valued was promptitude; and
did not such acts of heroism deserve speedy recognition?
What soldiers and sailors love (said Lord Ellenborough)
is promptitude in the acknowledgment of their gallantry
and of the value of their services. They are, of all men
in the world, the most sensitive. Honour to them is
life; and life without honour is worthless. The thing
which most of all others they desire is personal distinction;
it is for that that they rush into action, braving
wounds and death; and do you think that the men who
at Balaklava enacted deeds of heroism to which you can
hardly find a parallel, are not deserving of such an
acknowledgment as I have named? I can find a parallel
to the deeds of Alma, great as those deeds were; I can
find a parallel to the deeds of Inkermann, though they
were still more remarkable than the deeds enacted on
the heights of Alma, but I do not know where I can
find a parallel to the deeds of Balaklava. Cavalry has
charged artillery before, cavalry has charged infantry
on many occasions, and cavalry has charged cavalry, but
I know not the instance, although it may exist, in
which cavalry has before charged the cavalry, infantry,
and artillery belonging to a powerful army in position.
I have never heard of such a thing and I do not believe
it has existed. How is it, then, that it did not at once
leap into the noble duke's mind that it was due to the
feelings of our army that they should be rewarded at
once as they ought to be rewarded? The medals for
Balaklava should have been instantly struck; not a
moment's delay ought to have taken place. When
Curtius threw himself armed into the gulf in order by
the sacrifice of himself to promote the future welfare of
his country, he did not do a deed of more desperate
fidelity, he did not do an act of more absolute self-
devotion than that done by our cavalry in that memorable
charge. And let me not forget that noble regiment
the 93rdunder its gallant commander Brigadier-
General Campbell, one of the very first officers we have
an officer in whom the troops felt a just confidence,
and who had the entire confidence of the late Sir C.
Napier for more than ten years, and by whom he was
designated, on the death-bed of that able general, as
one fitted for the command of the army, which I trust
he will hold; for I do say that his troops have the
fullest confidence in that officer, he had the fullest
confidence in them, and it was that mutual confidence
which enabled them successfully to resist the charge of
that mass of the enemy's cavalry in one single red line,
and with that firmness and immovability which has so
often secured to us the victory. Let them then, with
the cavalry, have that medal, for they deserve it. My
lords, I say no more. I assure your lordships I cannot
express to you the regret with which I have witnessed
the delay in the issuing of this medal, or that there
should ever have existed a doubt upon the subject. It
does not look well that, there having been a concession
of this honour, so justly deserved, the communication of