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LIVES OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE
The E.J. Boys Archive

Lieutenant William WINSTANLEY - 4th Light Dragoons


There was originally no information about this man in the EJBA.

When he started researching the field, Jim Boys included only those men he knew from records had actually arrived in the Crimea and were entitled to the Crimea Medal. He later accepted that this was too restrictive, but was unable to add all the men who embarked for but did not reach the Crimea. Many, for example, died en route at Varna, Bulgaria, where epidemic diseases such as cholera were rife in the camps. Others arrived too late to qualify.

The current editors are intending to include these men, and will be adding information as soon as possible.

Further information: Lawrence Crider,In Search of the Light Brigade, 3rd edition, p. 125.

Transcribed by RM from theTrowbridge Advertiser, 18th October 1856:

The Military "practical joking" at Brighton – Authentic details.

We are now enabled, from a reliable source, to present complete and authentic details as to the late disgraceful occurrences in connection with the officers of the 4th Light Dragoons, now stationed at Brighton.

Those transactions will undoubtedly become the subject of an inquiry before a court marshal at an early date although the announcement that it would take place on Monday next, was premature, no day having yet been fixed.

Cornet T.H. Ames, the gentleman who was the subject of the insulting treatment at the hands of his brother officers, to which reference has been made in the various paragraphs which have appeared in the papers, is not the son of a clergyman, as has been stated, but is the only child of a gentleman of independent property.

We are informed that the facts which will be attempted to be proved before the court-marshal will be substantially as follows:

Cornet Ames dined at mess on Sunday September 21, on which occasion he sat next to Lord Ernest Vane Tempest, who, it will be remembered, rendered himself notorious in relation to a theatrical fracas at Windsor, some time ago; for his connection with which disgraceful proceeding he was "punished" by his relative, the late Commander-in-Chief, by being promoted from an ensigncy in an infantry regiment to a cornetcy in a cavalry regiment – the 4th Light Dragoons – the regiment which has now the honour of that discrete and distinguished officer's services.

It is asserted that shortly after the dinner commenced, Lord Tempest, who is only himself a cornet, began to address to Cornet Ames a variety of insulting observations, in an undertone of voice.

Amongst other things, it is said that he told that young officer to "eat as much as he could for his money" his lordship also asked him "whether the reason that he did not drink champagne was that it was too dear for him ?" also, whether he "walked" up to the mess at the barracks? [One of Cornet Ames's horses being ill, he had walked on this occasion to mess.]. His lordship asked him "whether he had walked to save money?" He further informed him that he "ought to go the sergeants' mess to learn manners before he came to theirs".

At length Cornet Ames very naturally refused to answer any more of the insulting observations which his lordship continued to address to him.

This, it is asserted, somewhat provoked his lordship, and induced him to inform his brother officer that "if he did not answer, he would give him a ---- good licking."

He is said to have further added that he would kick him in an anonymous part of the body, "directly he got him out of the mess room."

At length, Cornet Ames is said to have told his lordship that his observations were unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

The wine passed round freely.

The Major retired, and was followed by Cornet Ames.

It is asserted that the evidence for the prosecution will prove that Lord Ernest Vane Tempest and another cornet, named Birt, followed Cornet Ames out of the room; they took hold of his arms, and forcibly dragged him into Lord Tempest's room, whither he was followed by two other officers, namely Lieut. W. Winstanley and Cornet D. Fyfe. Cornet Birt and Lord Tempest then held him down on a sofa, while Lieut. Winstanley, it is asserted, fetched a pair of scissors from Lord Tempest's bedroom.

The evidence, we are assured, will show that his lordship took these scissors and with them cut off the whole of the left side of Cornet Ames' whiskers, close to the skin, and held them up in his hand, exclaiming "Here's a lot!" an exclamation which was greeted with shouts of laughter from the "officers and gentlemen" present, inasmuch as the hirsute appendages of Cornet Ames were decidedly the finest in the regiment. All this was done in the most insulting and offensive manner. So far the transactions occurred at the Lewes Road barracks, where the mess was held.

But Cornet Ames was on duty at the Pavilion Barracks, and as soon as he could escape from his barbarous persecutors, he put on his coat and returned there.

It was about 10pm when he arrived; and, writhing under the indignities to which he had been subjected, he repaired at once to his room.

As he was opening the door he heard voices at the bottom of the stairs, which he thought he recognised as those of his brother officers who had just been so cruelly ill-treating him. Not being anxious to come into contact with them any more that evening, he descended by another flight of stairs into the dome.

The "officers and gentlemen" whoever they may have been, ascended the stairs, and forcibly entered Cornet Ames' apartment. After they had left he went there, and found the whole of his things turned topsy-turvy. The candlestick was thrown out of the window, all the doors of an elegant little wardrobe were violently wrenched off, and his linen and saddlery were scattered about the room.

Two of his hats were smashed to pieces, a can of water had been emptied onto his bed, and his looking-glass was smashed to atoms. Two sticks and an umbrella were missing.

The evidence, it is asserted, will conclusively demonstrate who the parties were who were guilty of this disgraceful conduct.


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