17 Novr 1854
[on mourning paper]
My Dear Constance
It is with extreme regret that I have just heard of the death of my cousin General Strangways <1> who was killed in the battle of the 5th November. After more than forty years of service, his merits were just now beginning to be appreciated by his country.
Today I read several interesting letters written by a young officer of the artillery son of my lawyer Mr Bolton, to his parents and sister.<2> The last is dated 31st Octr and he says in it, “the night before last (29th October) there was a sudden alarm and two divisions of the Russian Army mistaking each other for enemies, fired on each other for more than an hour. The Zouaves and Chasseurs d’Afrique had contrived this affair. They are splendid troops, &c. &c.”
Tell Mlle A.<3> that the Mr Hartopp who is wounded is the favourite nephew of Miss Gent. He has arrived at the hospital at Scutari it is hoped he will do well.
Miss Nightingale<4> & the 27 nurses together with the valuable addition of 14 surgeons arrived at Constple the 5th November You may remember I had been calculating when this useful succour wd arrive and guessed it wd be the 4th November. –
Adieu Your affte
1. Brigadier General Thomas Fox Strangeways (1790 - 5 November 1854), Royal Artillery, was on horseback at the Battle of Inkermann at the right hand of Lord Raglan when he was killed by a shell.
2. WHFT's London solicitor, John Henry Bolton (1795-1873), had a son, William (b. 1829) who may have been serving in the Crimea.
4. Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the 'Lady of the Lamp', revolutionised battlefield medical practices by nursing in the field and making rounds even at night.