THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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78
HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
It may not be out of place to record here that this Vicar had two sons who won great distinction in the Army. At the battle of Inkerman, at a moment when the Russians had the ascendant, and the defeat of the Allies looked almost assured "with what to the Russians seemed absolute suddenness," says Kinglake in his "Invasion of the Crimea," "a new power came into action." Lord Raglan ordered up two heavy guns, weighing over two tons each, and known to bear very strong charges of powder and carry an 18-lb. ball with precision and terrific power. They were located in an exposed position and the gunners working them were exposed to a perfect hurricane of shot, directed on one narrow spot from several batteries, and the losses were very heavy. But as a gunner dropped out, dead or wounded, another took his place, and they never ceased to hurl back their fateful answers. One of the guns was laid every time by Lieut. Greorge Sisson Harward and every shot fired carried havoc into the enemy's batteries. It was one of the most marvellous artillery duels of the whole Crimean campaign. Two guns against a hundred, but, to quote again from Kinglake, " at the end of a quarter of an hour it could be seen that our gunners were conquering for themselves a comparative immunity. The slaughter, the wreck, the confusion they spread in the enemy's batteries had by that time weakened his fire and henceforth, every instant, it began to seem more and more plain that this was an unequal conflict. . . . Whether tearing direct through a clump of the enemy's gunners or lighting upon some piece of rock, and flinging abroad, right and left, its murderous splinters; whether bounding into a team of artillery horses, or smashing and blowing up tumbrils, the terrible 18 pounder shot never flew to its task without ploughing a furrow of ruin." The change wrought by the duel was one of great moment and it was the first real agent in the ultimate defeat of the Russians. Lieut. Harward and his men, according to Lord Raglan, rendered " distinguished and splendid service." The other son who attained distinction was
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