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Last amended 2.4.12. Portrait added 11.1.2014.

1460, Private Henry Dyson NAYLOR — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Mildenhall, Suffolk, probably in 1835.

He was baptised in Mildenhall Parish Church on the 12th of July 1835, the second son of Thomas Naylor, and his wife, Eliza.

His parents were married at Mildenhall on the 13th of October 1832. Other children born into the family were William, baptised 16th of June 1833; Thomas, baptised 25th of June 1837, and George, baptised 14th of April 1844.


Enlisted at Westminster on the 1st of November 1851.

Age: 16 years 5 months.

Height: 5' 9".

Trade: Servant.

Appearance: Fresh complexion. Blue eyes. Dk. brown hair.

At the time of his enlistment he was unable to write and had to "make his mark". This was witnessed by Staff Sgt-Major William Robertson, who had enlisted him.


Wounded in action at Balaclava. He was "sent on board ship without seeing the surgeon" on the 26th of October 1854.

Invalided to England from Scutari on the 16th of December 1854 and sent to Walworth, London, "on sick furlo until discharge", on the 30th of September 1855.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Discharge & pension

Finally discharged from Chatham Invalid Depot on the 23rd of October 1855, as:

"Unfit for further service from disfigurement of the face by fracture of lower jaw at Balaclava. Also from gun-shot wound of shoulder."

Served 2 years 60 days, to count.

Conduct: "good". Not in possession of any Good Conduct badges.

Awarded a pension of 1/- per day.

Pension increased to 1/6d per day for "15 years' service in the Enrolled Force" in Western Australia, on the 18th of January 1881. This was further increased on the 4th of April 1893.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, and Sebastopol, and the Turkish medal.

Henry Dyson Naylor's medal miniatures

Henry Dyson Naylor's medal miniatures. The word "Balaclava" is written in cursive script across the top.

The medal roll states, "Medal given to him, 18/3/58."


Member of the Balaclava Commemoration Society in 1879.

Life after service

Living in Deptford in 1855, Portsmouth in 1856, South London in 1858, West London in 1860, and in Western Australia from 1862.

According to an obituary published in Australia [below], he was at one time a "second coachman" to Duleep (or Dalip) Singh.

According to "Queen Victoria's Maharajah", one of Singh's servants was:

"a handsome young dragoon who had been in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava ... one of the sights of Perthshire as he strode through the village [Castle Menzies] with all his medals jangling on the Maharajah's blue and green livery" (pp 60-61).

[Source: "Queen Victoria's Maharajah: Duleep Singh 1838-1893", Michael Alexander & Sushila Anand, London (2001 edition?).

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duleep_Singh. There are number of recent books on Singh, some with photographs. It is not impossible that more information about HDN could be found there.].

EJB: Was Henry Naylor perhaps this "handsome young dragoon"?

Duleep Singh (1838-93) was the youngest of the acknowledged sons of Ranjit Singh, Maharajah of Lahore, whom he succeeded in 1842. When in 1849 the British annexed the Punjab he was forced to resign his sovereignty — and to surrender "the gem known as the Koh-in-Nor". He was taken in 1849 (aged 11) to Futteghur, where he became a Christian, and, in 1854, to England.

Until 1855, he lived in London, or travelled around Europe; then moved to Scotland until 1860 (where he became known locally as "the Black Prince" — he was apparently the first Indian prince to visit Scotland). Castle Menzies in Perthshire was leased for him between 1855 and 1858. If HDN was indeed the "handsome young dragoon", he would have started working for Singh at this time.

Singh stayed with the Royal Family at Osborne, where the Queen sketched him playing with here children, Prince Albert photographed him, and his portrait was painted by the Court artist, Franz Winterhalter.

Duleep Singh painted in 1854 by by Franz Winterhalter (1805-1873). Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dalip_singh_winterhalter.jpg

Duleep Singh painted in 1854 by the Court artist Franz Winterhalter (1805-1873).

Victoria admired his looks and his manners, was touched by his history and remained a sympathetic friend, even when a combination of financial hardship and a burning sense of injustice induced in the Maharajah a state of schizophrenia indistinguishable from insanity, in which he renounced Christianity, became violently anti-British, conceived plans for leading the Sikhs of the Punjab in a revolt against British rule in India, and offered his services to the Russians.

In 1891, after he had suffered a stroke, he begged to be reconciled with the Queen. She met him at Nice and wrote at the time, "I am so glad that we met again and that I could say I forgave him."

Passionately devoted to sport (he was a crack shot), Singh had acquired the 17,000-acre Elveden country estate on the Suffolk-Norfolk border. This was only a few miles from Mildenhall where Henry Naylor was born and to which he had probably returned to on discharge.

In Australia

Portrait of Henry Dyson Naylor [ask DO for source? history? estimate when taken?].

[RM, Jan 2014: We know HDN had a large scar on his jaw, which may be visible on the right. This also explains his goatee beard. He appears to be wearing a sash and jewel, possibly of a Temperance Society?]

The Dictionary of Western Australian Immigrants. 1829-1924 shows him as:

"Naylor, Henry Dyson. Bn. 1836, Dd. (Fremantle) 26/3/1894. Son of Thomas Dyson. Arrived per the "Norwood" 9/6/1862 as Enrolled Pensioner Guard, with family.

Marr. (England) Henrietta Wells, Dd. 20/10/1909 (Fremantle), dau. of George Edward and Agnes. Children, Emma Agnes, Bn. 1856; George Edward, Bn. 1862 — Dd. 1940; Henry, Bap. 1863 and Thomas, Bap. 1863; John Alexander, Bn. 1870 — Dd. 1942; Wilfred Alfred, Bn. 1870 — Died 1945; Martha Ann, Bn. 1871.

Private, 13th Light Dragoons — Veteran and Crimean War and Chelsea Pensioner. Stationed at Fremantle, posted briefly to Camden Harbour in 1865. Promoted Corporal in 1881. In 1876 granted Loc. PS/20 acres at Koojee, but lived in Fremantle, where he was employed as a butler. C. of E. by religion."

Of his children:

A later edition of the same book did not show quite the same details, but added others:

"Went to Camden Harbour aboard the 'Tien Tsin' on the 17th of January 1865, and where he remained until the 29th of October 1865. He was part of a Government force of Police, Pensioners and labourers who were sent to join the settlement which had been established there some months.

The country was found to be inhospitable and unfit for stock, so much so that no more than a thousand sheep of the four and half thousand sheep originally taken there were left. It was decided to abandon the settlement and those remaining (the great majority had returned, dispirited, to Melbourne by July of 1865) returned to Fremantle."

In 1869, HDN was involved as an escort during a royal visit to Australia. From a newspaper report of the time:

"On the 3rd of February 1869 HRH Prince Alfred, son of Queen Victoria, visited Western Australia aboard H.M.S. 'Galatea' and on every occasion when H.R.H. drove out the escort consisted of six well-mounted and uniformed efficient Dragoon Pensioners, clothed, armed and equipped as Hussars, under the able direction of Major Crampton.

Each of the men had borne his part in one or more great battles and one exhibited across his face a sabre cut received in the renowned Balaclava charge. This was Henry Dyson Naylor from the 13th Dragoons, of whom the local journal relates that during the inspection of his escort, 'H.R.H. saw the deep scar on the face of one man, a cicatrized memento of Balaclava'."

On E.P.F. Roll (Fremantle detachment):

"on its disbandment, November 1880. Selected to be recruited as an Enrolled Guard (now under Police control and its members sworn in as Special Constables). Its main duties were to furnish a Guard for the Convict Prison and Magazine at Fremantle and a Guard for Government House. The strength of the unit was 1 Sergeant Major, 3 Sergeants, 3 Warders, 5 Cpls. and 37 Ptes."

As an Enrolled Guard, he occupied quarters in No. 1 Barrack, Fremantle, with wife and four children, from 19 November 1880.

Promoted Corporal: 2 April 1881.

1881 — "Has had Koojee Loc. P8 since 1876. Will effect improvements as soon as possible."

Grant of Cockburn Sound, Loc. P8 of 20 acres at Koojee confirmed — 5th of August 1884.

On roll of the Enrolled Guard at its disbandment. Then aged 51 and holding the rank of Corporal 31st of March 1887.

He was still active in a military capacity in 1893. Extract from the Colonial Military Gazette (Australia), January 1893:

"Colonel Fleming (commanding the Western Australian District) inspected the Fremantle Rifles on their own ground and expressed a favourable opinion regarding the Corps. The Colonel was introduced to a veteran soldier, Corporal Naylor, who rode in the ranks of the 13th Light Dragoons at the battle of Balaclava. The Colonel extended a hearty handshake and made many enquiries regarding the old soldier."

Same source, July 1893:

"Recently an application was made to the War Office for an increase in pension for Corporal Naylor, now of the Fremantle Rifles, but who had formerly served in the Balaclava Charge. As he enjoys the sum of 1/6d. per day pension, the reply was that 'no further award can be given either by the War Office, or Chelsea'."

There are a number of references to Henry Naylor as a member of, or a subscriber to, various local charities or organisations, e.g. the Lancashire Relief Fund, Greenough Fire Fund, Pensioners Benevolent Fund, and signing a petition from the United Temperance Societies League.

Death & burial

Henry Naylor died in Fremantle, Australia, on the 26th of March 1894, from "Influenza, Mob Cordis, Exhaustion", aged 59 years. His death was certified by Dr. White and the informant of his death was a Mr. E. Simmons — for the undertaker, A.E. Davies. (There is a copy of his death certificate in the "Certificates" file.)

From the Army and Navy Gazette, May 1894:

"We learn from Australia of the death of Henry Dyson Naylor, aged 60. At the time of his death he was a Corporal in the Fremantle Infantry Corps.

He enlisted at the age of 16 years, and three years later he rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade, being seriously wounded, one of the wounds being caused by a cannon rammer which struck him in the loins — this caused him pain until his death, which was largely due to the effects of his wounds. He was sent home from the Crimea, and discharged in 1855.

Naylor was then employed as second coachman by the Maharajah Duleep Singh. He then went to Western Australia in charge of prisoners in 1862, and for some years was employed as a night warder at Fremantle Prison. The local Militia gave him a military funeral, and most of the shops closed as a mark of respect..."

Enquiries carried out by Mr. Bernard Cattermole (a direct descendant of 483 TSM W.G. Cattermole, 17th Lancers), when visiting Australia in 1991, brought a reply from the present Fremantle Cemetery Board:

"a check of the Cemetery records showed no trace of his interment here. This particular cemetery was opened in July of 1899; the other cemeteries used before this being in Alma Street (where the Fremantle Hospital now is) and Skinner Street (where the John Curtin Senior High School now stands).

In 1935 the remaining headstones were removed from these cemeteries and placed in an area in this cemetery called the Pioneer Section and according to the records we have here of both of those cemeteries there is nothing at all on H.D. Naylor."

Further information

In 1990, an original receipt came to light, signed by HDN for his final pay and clothing allowances when leaving the service, together with a small portrait some 2" by 3" of a man in civilian clothes that could perhaps have been HDN.

Is this a photograph of Henry Dyson Naylor?

Is this Henry Dyson Naylor, or his father Thomas?

The photograph is named on the back as by a "W. W. Dodds. Photographer, 53 Queen Street, Wolverhampton", a town with which Henry Naylor had no known connections. It has been ascertained that a Mr. W.H. Dodd carried on business as a photographer in Fryer Street, Wolverhampton, in 1861, and is shown in available local directories in 1862-3 and 1865 as being in business at 53, Queen Street, Wolverhampton, and in 1869 at Shifnal, Shropshire, although he still owned a house in Wolverhampton.

Assuming the earliest date he seems much too old-looking for 26 or 27, which HDN would have been in 1861. So could it be that the picture is in fact of his father, Thomas D. Naylor? (There seems to be a resemblance in the eyes, which is perhaps all we have to go on.) There is a copy of the photograph, and of the medals, in the 13th Hussar file.

References & acknowledgements

2012: The editors would like to thank Diane Oldman for providing the portrait shown at the head of this page. Diane lives in Rockingham, south of Perth, and is working on an extensive study of Crimean War veterans in Western Australia. See below for information about her website.

External links

Crimean Veterans in Western Australia: Henry Dyson Naylor (www.crimeanwar-veteranswa.com/veterans-index/m-o/naylor-henry-dyson/ (accessed 13.10.2015).

This excellent site, which is being developed by Diane Oldman, went public (with a different url) in March 2014. Henry Dyson Naylor was among the first men to be displayed. Her new site, much re-organised, was launched in October 2015. More Light Brigade men are expected to follow shortly.

Follow up...

PB, 2012: Must add info about Museum of Western Australia video and Diane Oldman's info about Henry Naylor's putative Crimea sabre:


Diane lists two newspaper articles in which HDN appears:

West Australian 07 Oct 1887 (witness in murder trial).

West Australian 21 Jun 1893 (request for pension increase).

Douglas Austen has found an interview with HDN published in the The Western Australian Times, Tuesday 25 January 1876, in which he describes the Charge. ADD TO THIS RECORD.

New on the site Search Index of men N
For further information, or to express an interest in the project, please email the editors, Philip Boys & Roy Mills, viainfo@chargeofthelightbrigade.com