Originally posted on The house historian.
Balaclava Cottage is situated in Lyng, a small village in Norfolk, to the north east of Norwich. It was built during the middle of the 19th century and for much of its history was home to working class families.
However, by the early 20th century this small cottage became the home of a hero. Private James Olley had still been a teenager when he fought in one of the most infamous events in British military history – The Charge of the Light Brigade – in the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War in 1854. It was then made famous by the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, which appeared a few weeks later, in December 1854.
“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.”
Charge of the Light Brigade, verse one
James Olley was a member of the 4th Dragoons, and he was part of the charge ‘into the valley of death’, alongside the 13th Light Dragoons, 17th Lancers, and the 8th and 11th Hussars, led by Major General…