Culture 25 October 2011 Remembering the Charge of the Light Brigade The Battle of Balaclava was 157 years ago today Print HTML On 25 October 1854, the British cavalry, led by Lord Cardigan, charged against Russian forces in the Crimean War. The event was quickly immortalised by Tennyson in his poem, published in The Examiner in December. According to his grandson, Tennyson wrote the poem in a few minutes after reading an account of the battle in The Times. The Charge Of The Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward, All in the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. "Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns!" he said: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. "Forward, the Light Brigade!" Was there a man dismayed? Not though the soldier knew Some one had blundered: Their's not to make reply, Their's not to reason why, Their's but to do and die: Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred. Flashed all their sabres bare, Flashed as they turned in air Sabring the gunners there, Charging an army, while All the world wondered: Plunged in the battery-smoke Right through the line they broke; Cossack and Russian Reeled from the sabre-stroke Shattered and sundered. Then they rode back, but not, Not the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volleyed and thundered; Stormed at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came through the jaws of Death Back from the mouth of Hell, All that was left of them, Left of six hundred. When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wondered. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! › The "Occupy" movement's Spanish roots Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman Subscribe More Related articles The New Statesman's Fundamenta-list: the zeitgeist, then and now How Jo Brand found comedy in the world's most thankless job: social work Why is Britain falling out of love with Valentine’s Day?