The Heavy Brigade Charger Group of Three awarded to Troop Sergeant Major James Dearden, 2nd Dragoon’s (Scots Greys), wounded by grape shot in the charge at Balaklava
The Heavy Brigade Charger Group of Three awarded to Troop Sergeant Major James Dearden, 2nd Dragoon’s (Scots Greys), wounded by grape shot in the charge at Balaklava, comprising: Crimea, 1854-1856, 3 clasps, Balaklava, Inkermann, Sebastopol (Serjt J. Dearden. 2nd Dragoons.), Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, V.R., small reverse lettering (1040 Tp Sergt Mjr Jas Dearden 2nd Dragoons), Turkish Crimea, Sardinian Issue (Troop Sergt Major J Dearden 2nd Dragoons); the first two officially impressed, the latter engraved in upright capitals, all three fitted with contemporary silver ribbon buckles.
Group attractively toned, Crimea Medal suspension once tightened, occasional contact marks in places, otherwise very fine, and very rare to a senior NCO of one of the most famous cavalry regiments. (3)
ex Glendining, Retail List, February 1996, item 278, John Darwent Collection DNW, September 2004, £5000 (hammer).
James Dearden was born in Edinburgh in November, 1822, and having previously worked as a Gardener, he enlisted into the 8th Hussars at Dublin on the 23rd of January 1841 at the age of 18. Having been promoted to the rank of Corporal in December 1845, he transferred as a Private to the 2nd Dragoons (Scots Greys) in September 1848, where he made steady progress in his military career. He was promoted to Corporal in December 1849, to Sergeant in November 1852, and Troop Sergeant Major by July 1854.
It was in this year; during service in the Crimean Campaign, that Troop Sergeant Major Dearden took part in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade, where he was ‘wounded in the left thumb by Grape Shot received at Balaklava, 25th October 1854’ and was sent to Scutari Hospital the next day. There were only three senior NCOs of this rank listed as wounded amongst the Scots Greys at this famous and successful action against the Russian Cavalry, where the British Heavy Cavalry had been outnumbered 5 to 1, yet still forced a Russian retreat. Shortly after, James Dearden reverted to the rank of Sergeant for a six-month period in 1855 before regaining his previous rank. His discharge papers carry a later note that Dearden received an increase to his pension ‘for 15 years’ service as Srjt. On Permt. Staff of Earl of Chester’s Yeomy Cav.’ Dearden was ultimately discharged at Aldershot on the 21st of March 1865, having served for a total of just over 22 years.
The Scots Greys had two men killed and fifty-six wounded in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaklava on 25 October 1854, and won two Victoria Crosses: those to RSM John Grieve and Private Henry Ramage. Sold with copy roll mentions confirming his charge, wounds and clasp entitlements, as well as his discharge papers.