ARMOUR, muskets, swords, and a letter written by an important historical figure are set to go up for auction in Herefordshire.

Herefordshire auction house, Minster Auctions, has taken consignment of a letter written by General Airey, the author of the order that directly led to the Charge of the Light Brigade on October 25, 1854. 

At Lord Raglan's dictation, Airey wrote the fateful note that was carried by Captain Nolan to the Light Brigade at Balaclava, ordering them to advance rapidly to the front.

The Charge, as it happened, was the result of a miscommunication in the chain of command, as Raglan had intended to send the Light Brigade on a different mission for which they were better suited.


The Charge famously and tragically ended in huge casualties and no significant military gains.

Lord Airey was later also criticised for incompetence in the provision of supplies and transport, but demanded an inquiry on his return to England.

The verdict cleared him completely, but he never recovered from the effects of the persecution by his critics.

Hereford Times: The letter written by General Airey. Picture: Minster AuctionsThe letter written by General Airey. Picture: Minster Auctions (Image: Minster Auctions)

The letter, to be sold at Minster in their specialist sale on March 23, was written by Airey from local country house Garnons, the home of his daughter who had married Sir Geers Henry Cotterell.

Airey was staying with his daughter at the time and the letter details the promotion of a junior officer dated 6th September 1886.

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It is hoped this instruction resulted in a more auspicious outcome for exactly the sort of young officer who was mistakenly ordered to face down the guns at Balaklava.

The specialist sale featuring militaria, natural history and antiquarian books takes place on March 23 at Minster Auctions in Leominster with viewing taking place on March 20, 21, and 22.

The auction will include Cromwellian armour, swords, muskets, medals and more, and Minster is taking entries up to March 10.

For more information, or a free no obligation valuation, contact Roger Brookes on 01568 600929.