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Roger Fenton (1819-69)

Captain Morgan on the winner of the Crimean races 1855

RCIN 2500299

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Photograph of Captain Morgan in left side profile, sitting astride his horse. He is wearing a racing outfit and holds the reins in both hands with a riding crop in his right hand. There are tents and people in the background.

In the spring of 1855, between sporadic bouts of action, the British and French officers in the Crimea amused themselves with duck-shooting, dog-hunts and horse-racing. It may have been activities like these which led a former attaché at the French Headquarters to report to Queen Victoria in September 1855 that 'the discipline in our army had got too lax - everybody having become too good-natured.' When Fenton's Crimean photographs were exhibited in Pall Mall in 1855, a reviewer took note of this particular photograph, mentioning that 'we have the winner of the Crimean cup - ignoble to look at, but said to be one of the best that ever went before a tail.'

Captain The Hon. Godfrey Charles Morgan, born on 28 April 1831 in Newport, Monmouthshire, served in the 17th Lancers. He rode 'Sir Briggs' (the horse in the photograph) in the Charge of the Light Brigade. In 1855 he received his Crimean medal from Queen Victoria on Horse Guards Parade on 18 May. He subsequently became a Major in the Royal Gloucestershire Yeomanry, a post he held until 1875 when, following the death of his father, he became 2nd Baron Tredegar. He was the Lord Lieutenant of Monmouthshire from 1899, and was created Viscount Tredegar in December 1905. He died on 11 March 1913. His horse lived until the age of 28, and was buried in the grounds of Tredegar House, where there is a monument. [Information from R. Dutton, 'Forgotten Heroes. The Charge of the Light Brigade' (2007), pp.312-3.]