Diaries and Letters from the Crimea published in Book Form since 1950

Officers - First Publication

-- 2010s --

"Crimean Letters from the 41st (The Welch) Regiment, 1854-56" edited by W. Alister Williams, published in Wales by Bridge Books of Wrexham, 2011. Large 8vo. 224 pp. The letters of Major-General William Allan, who served as a subaltern in the 41st Regiment in the Crimea (previously published with very limited print run), supplemented with letters from other officers of the regiment.

"Crimean Cavalry Letters" edited by Glenn Fisher. Army Records Society, number 31, published Stroud: The History Press for the Army Records Society, 2011. 8vo. vii + 336 pp. The collected letters of cavalry officers Fiennes Wykeham Martin, Edward Rowe Fisher-Rowe, (both mostly previously published with very limited print runs), Edward Phillips and Thomas Hutton.

"Letters from the Crimea: Writing Home, a Dundee Doctor" edited by Douglas Hill, with a foreword by Trevor Royle. Dundee: Dundee University Press, 2010. Trade paperback. xi + 224 pp. The letters of Acting Assistant-Surgeon David Grieg, MD.

-- 2000s --

"A Bearskin's Crimea" edited by Algernon Percy. Leo Cooper, Barnsley, 2005. 8vo. xxix + 238 pp. The letters of Colonel Henry Percy, VC, Grenadier Guards.

"Romaine's Crimean War" Edited by Major Colin Robins and members of the CWRS. Army Records Society Number 24. Published by Sutton Publishing for the Army Records Society, 2005. Small 8vo. xxvii + 315 pp. The letters and journals of Deputy Judge Advocate General William Govett Romaine. An important work.

"Sharpshooter in the Crimea" edited by Michael Springman, published Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2005. Hardback, 8vo. vii + 228 pp. The Letters of Captain Goodlake, VC.

"Captain Dunscombe's Diary: The Real Crimean War that the British Infantry Knew" Edited by Major Colin Robins. Published Bowdon: Withycut House, 2003. Hardback A5, 243 pp. The diary of Captain Nicholas Dunscombe, 46th Regiment.

"Eyewitness in the Crimea" edited by Michael Hargreave Mawson, published Greenhill Press, London, and Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania, 2001. Hardback 8vo. 320 pp. The letters of Lieutenant-Colonel George Frederick Dallas, who served in the Crimea as Lieutenant, Captain, and Brevet-Major, firstly with 46th Regiment, and latterly as ADC to General Garrett.

"Letters of Boscawen Trevor Griffith, Lieutenant, 23rd Regt. of Foot, The Royal Welch Fusiliers, from The Crimea" transcribed by Major E. L. Kirby, MC, TD, DL, and published privately (nd, c. 2000), A5, paperback, 44pp.

-- 1990s --

“The Diary of F. Pocklington, 38th Regiment” edited by Catherine Radley and published by the Crimean War Research Society in 1998. Paperback, A4, 47pp. (plus an essay on the history of the war at 37pp.) Diary of Lt. Frederic Pocklington, 38th Regiment. Brief and cryptic entries. Probably only of interest to a 38th Regiment specialist.

“Murder of a Regiment” edited by Colin Robins and published by Withycut House in 1994. Paperback, A5, 53pp. Journal of Lt. Richard Lluellyn, 46th Regiment. An excellent little book, by a highly-respected historian of the Crimean War, and containing far more than just a transcript of a subaltern's journal, which is, in itself, fascinating reading. Highly recommended.

-- 1980s --


-- 1970s --

“Letters from the Crimea” edited by Edith Tyson and published by the King’s Own Royal Regimental Museum in 1977. Paperback, A4, 24pp. Letters of Captain Jasper Hall, 4th Regiment. Only a handful of letters, but they are detailed and informative. Well worth picking up.

"Fields of War" edited by Philip Warner and published by John Murray in 1977. Hardback, small 8vo, 215pp. Letters of Lt. Richard Temple Godman, 5th Dragoon Guards. (Reprinted in 1999 by Windrush Press, under the title 'Letters Home From The Crimea'). A splendid series of letters from a Heavy Cavalry subaltern. Recommended.

"The Crimean Journal of Lieutenant Image" edited by David Ross, and published by the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature in 1971. Paperback, large 8vo, 44pp. Journal of Lieutenant J. G. Image, 21st Regiment. Difficult to get hold of this one (at least in UK), and since the diary entries tend to be brief, possibly not worth the effort unless you are especially interested in the 21st Regiment.

“Little Hodge” edited by The Marquess of Anglesey and published by Leo Cooper in 1971. (There was also a Military Book Society edition). Hardback, small 8vo, 166pp. Letters and diaries of Col. Edward Hodge, 4th Dragoon Guards. An important work, edited by the foremost Cavalry historian in the world. For me, however, I found the Marquess' running commentary linking the letters slightly too intrusive. Nevertheless, this is a "must have".

“The Hawley Letters” edited by S. G. P. Ward and published by the Society for Army Historical Research in 1970. Paperback and hardback editions, 9.5” x 7”, 115pp, plus sepia illustrations and folding map. Letters of Captain R. B. Hawley, 89th Regiment. An SAHR Special Publication, and a major addition to the literature. Hawley himself was an excellent writer, and the copious and detailed footnotes provided by the editor make this another "must have".

-- 1960s --

“Surgeon in the Crimea” edited by Victor Bonham-Carter and published by Constable and Co. in 1968. (There was also a History Book Club edition). Hardback, small 8vo, 209pp. Letters of Staff Assistant-Surgeon George Lawson. The problems of the medical services in the Crimean War are well known. Lawson's letters provide a fascinating insight into the difficulties faced by a junior officer of the Medical Staff in the war. Recommended.

“Soldier-Surgeon: The Crimean War Letters of Dr. Douglas A. Reid” edited by Joseph O. Baylen and Alan Conway and published by the University of Tennessee Press in 1968. Hardback, small 8vo, 158pp. Letters of Assistant-Surgeon Douglas Reid, 90th Light Infantry. Similar work, in terms of both tone and content to "Surgeon in the Crimea" above. Reid, however, was a regimental, rather than a Staff surgeon, and his letters therefore provide a slightly different slant on things. Recommended.

-- 1950s --

“Henry Clifford, VC” edited by Clifford Fitzherbert and published by Michael Joseph in 1956. Hardback, 8vo, 288pp. plus numerous colour and monochrome illustrations and a folding map. Letters and sketches of Major Henry Clifford, V.C., Rifle Brigade and Staff. This is a true classic, and if you only have one set of diaries or letters from the Crimea in your library, this is the one to have. Clifford's letters are superb.

“A Diary of the Crimea” edited by Cyril Falls and published by Gerald Duckworth and Co. in 1954. Hardback, small 8vo, 148pp. Diary of Col. George Palmer Evelyn, Rifle Brigade, attached to the Turkish Army. I have to say that this is by far the dullest Crimean diary I have ever read. Evelyn was descended from the famous diarist of the same name, but, despite the publishers' blurb, he does not appear to have inherited his ancestor's skill with the pen. This book is not compelling reading.

Officers - Reprints

-- 1990s --

'Letters Home From The Crimea' edited by Philip Warner and reprinted by Windrush Press in 1999. Reprint of “Fields of War” (see above). Letters of Lt. Richard Temple Godman, 5th Dragoon Guards. See above for review.

"Letters from the Crimea and India" by William and Robert Barnston, privately reprinted by Michael Trevor-Barnston in 1998. Paperback, A5, xvii + 269 pp. Letters of Captains William and Roger Barnston, 55th and 90th Regiments, first published c. 1860 (covers the Indian Mutiny as well as the Crimean War).

"The Highland Brigade in the Crimea" edited and written by Lt.-Col. Anthony Sterling and published by Absinthe Press in 1995. Paperback, A5, 244pp. Unabridged edition of the letters of Lt.-Col. Anthony Sterling, Staff, first published in 1895. Fascinating letters from a senior officer on Sir Colin Campbell's staff. The presentation of this reprint is, however, very poor - but, then again, the reprint will cost you a tenth of what a copy of the original edition will! Well worth having.

“Soldier’s Glory” edited by Brian Stuart and published by Spellmount in 1991. Hardback, small 8vo, 325pp. Reprint of the 1956 edition of “Rough Notes of an Old Soldier” which itself was an abridged edition of “Rough Notes of an Old Soldier” by Major-General Sir George Bell, first published c. 1870 (covers Peninsular War and other services as well as the Crimean War). Bell is a wonderful character, who commanded the 1st Royals in the Crimea. A very interesting insight into the capabilities of one of the elderly officers who were sneered at as being "past it", but who, in fact, used their Peninsular experience to good effect. Another book that is well worth having.

-- 1980s --


-- 1970s --

“Cadogan’s Crimea” edited by William Luscombe and published by Hamish Hamilton in 1979. Hardback, Royal 8vo, 288pp plus numerous colour and monochrome illustrations. Text is an abridged version of “Letters from Headquarters” by Lt. Col. Somerset Calthorpe, Staff, first published in 1856. The main selling point of this book is the series of beautiful illustrations by Cadogan, and it is well worth buying for these alone. However, the letters of Somerset Calthorpe, an officer on Raglan's personal staff, are most interesting in their own right. They are extremely "pro-Raglan" - which makes a refreshing change from the opinions of many other writers!

“Light Cavalry Brigade in the Crimea” edited and written by Lord George Paget and published by E. P. Publishing in 1975. Hardback, small 8vo, 343pp. Facsimile reprint of the Journal of Lt.-Col. Lord George Paget, 4th Light Dragoons, first published in 1881. Somewhat disappointing diary of the commander of a Light Brigade regiment. Required reading, I suppose, for those interested in the Light Brigade, but not exactly gripping.

-- 1960s --


-- 1950s --

“Rough Notes of an Old Soldier” edited by Brian Stuart and published by G. Bell and Sons in 1956. Abridged edition of “Rough Notes of an Old Soldier” by Major-General Sir George Bell, first published around 1870 (covers Peninsular War and other services as well as the Crimea). This edition was reprinted again by Spellmount as “Soldier’s Glory” in 1991. See "Soldier's Glory" above for review.

Rankers - First Publication

“The Diary of Sgt. W. McMillan” edited by Keith Hingle and published by The Coldstream Guards around 1990. Paperback, A4, 36pp. The diary of Sgt. W. McMillan, Coldstream Guards. I am not aware of any other published journals by Guardsmen, and for that reason alone, this is well worth having. McMillan was not a particularly gifted author, but his journal entries provide useful information. Keith Hingle has done a considerable amount of background research on the Coldstream in the Crimea, and this booklet is well-presented, and copiously illustrated.

“A Victorian RSM” anonymously edited and published by D. J. Costello in 1987. Hardback, small 8vo, 245pp. Diaries of RSM George Loy Smith, 1833-56, 11th Hussars. This and "A Voice from the Ranks" (see below) are the classic ranker diaries from the Crimea. Buy it.

“One Hussar” edited by Ken Horton and privately published around 1985. Paperback, A5, 78pp. Diary of T.S.M. James Rawlins, 8th Hussars, 1853-1863. An excellent piece of work tracing the life and times of Rawlins, and reproducing his most-interesting diary in full. Well-researched and well-illustrated, this booklet is well worth having.

"Vincent of the 41st: A Soldier's Battles in the First Afghan and Crimean Wars" edited by Geoffrey Moore and published by the editor in 1979. Paperback, A5. n.p. Contains diary extracts.

“Three Chose War” edited by Geoffrey Moore and published by the editor in 1978. Paperback, A5, 60pp. Diary of Col.-Sgt. George Evernden, Rifle Brigade, plus biographies of two other Crimean soldiers. Although this claims to include Evernden's Crimean "diary" the passages quoted appear to be reminiscences rather than diary entries. There is little of especial merit or interest here.

“The Prisoners of Voronesh” edited by David Inglesant and published by Unwins in 1977. Hardback, small 8vo, 261pp. Diary of Sergeant George Newman, 23rd Regiment. Unique story of the Prisoners of War held at Voronesh, based on Newman's diary. A fascinating and readable account. Recommended.

Rankers - Reprints

“Leaves from a Soldier’s Note Book” by Sergeant-Major Henry Franks, limited edition reprint published by Mitre Publications in 1979. Hardback, small 8vo, 95pp. Reprint of a 1904 private publication, itself based on the diaries of Sergeant-Major Franks, 5th Dragoon Guards. Franks' diary entries edited by himself and turned into a narrative. A most interesting little book.

“A Voice From the Ranks” edited by Kenneth Fenwick and published by the Folio Society in 1954. Hardback, small 8vo, 145pp. A greatly abridged version of “A Soldier’s Experiences, or, A Voice from the Ranks” by Sergeant-Major Timothy Gowing, 7th Royal Fusiliers, privately published in numerous editions throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century. Fenwick's abridged version excises all the formal history interpolated by Gowing in successive editions of his diary-based reminiscences, and provides a tight and fascinating text. A classic.

Diaries and Letters from the Crimea published in Periodicals since 1950

I am indebted to Harold Raugh for the following list, and would welcome the opportunity to include further examples - please contact me if you have any to add.

Carew, Peter. Combat and Carnival. London: Constable, 1954. Xxiii + 232 pp., plates, portraits. An account of the Carew and Taylor families of Devonshire from the French Revolution to the Crimean War compiled from family letters and diaries.

Laws, M.E.S. “Letters from the Crimea.” Journal of the Royal Artillery 82 (1955): 137-143. Letters of Lt. H.B. Maule.

Taylor, A.H. “Letters from the Crimea [1].” Journal of the Royal United Service Institution 102 (1957): 79-85.

Taylor, A.H. “Letters from the Crimea [2].” Journal of the Royal United Service Institution 102 (1957): 232-282.

Taylor, A.H. “Letters from the Crimea [3].” Journal of the Royal United Service Institution 102 (1957): 399-405.

Taylor, A.H. “Letters from the Crimea [4].” Journal of the Royal United Service Institution 102 (1957): 564-570.

Weir, William, and J.G. Weir, ed. “Crimean Letters of 3932 George Conn, 1st Company 79th Highlanders.” Aberdeen University Review 38 (1959): 131-137.

Barnsley, R.E. “The Diaries of John Hall, Principal Medical Officer in the Crimea, 1854-6.” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 41 (1963): 3-18.

P., A., ed. “Contemporary Notes from the Crimea, 1854.” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 46, no. 186 (1968): 116-120.

Jones, Francis. “Corporal Davies Goes to War: Letters Tell of Crimean Campaign.” Carmarthenshire Historian 6 (1969): 7-34.

Goldsmith, R.F.K., ed. “Winter in the Crimea, 1854-1855: Extracts from the Journal of Captain Charles Shervinton, 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment.” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 57 (1979): 20-33. [Note that these extracts are actually from the diary of Captain Richard Llewellyn, which was subsequently published as "Murder of a Regiment" - see above.]

Lagden, A.A., ed. “The Ainslie Letters [1].” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 58 (1980): 6-26.

Lagden, A.A., ed. “The Ainslie Letters [2].” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 58 (1980): 98-115.

Jackman, S.W. “Crimean Experiences, by William Love.” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 60 (1982): 103-111.

Jackman, S.W. “Crimean Experiences, by William Love (contd.).” Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 60 (1982): 181-188.

Butler, Thomas. “Extracts from the Crimean Journal of Thomas Butler.” Journal of the Butler Society 3 (1987): 54-58.

Raugh, Harold E., Jr. “The Siege of Silistria, 1854: From the Journal of Captain James A. Butler, Ceylon Rifle Regiment.” Soldiers of the Queen, Journal of the Victorian Military Society 53 (June 1988): 4-12.

Lord, Evelyn. “In Love and War: Episodes in the Life of a Country Gentleman.” Archives 20 (1993): 42-47. This includes extracts from the Crimean War diary of William Bromley- Davenport.

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