Mystery Items, from the Crimean War?

Cornet Cleveland

The Halesworth and District Museum is not known as a museum that collect military uniforms. However we have two headpieces and a Sam Bowie belt in the museum that are a mystery and possibly connected to Cornet Cleveland of 17th Lancers and a survivor of the “Charge of the Light Brigade”.

One is a headpiece is a brown busby, possibly from 8th Hussar’s, with a distinctive red bag without braiding. The other is Russian, possibly from an artillery regiment, although it is catalogued as from a grenadier regiment. These items were offered to the museum by the same person, but it is not recorded when.

Who was Cornet Cleveland and how does his belt come to the museum and are the other items related? This much we know. If anyone has any more information do tell us.

The Museums records for these items are (dating from 1986, but the items may have been in the museum before that year):

  • HAHDM:1986.112 Russian Grenadier’s helmet from Crimean war. 1854 – 56. Leather & Iron.
  • HAHDM:1986.116 Hussar’s helmet. 8th Hussar regiment Fur/leather.1854. ‘Shako’ 195mm X 160mm.
  • HAHDM:1986.113 Crimean war. Belt. Leather with brass buckles. Shoulder strap decorative stitching on seams.1854 – 56. Used in Crimea by Cornet Cleveland

Memorial to Cornet Cleveland


To the memory of Archibald Cleveland Esq. His only and deeply loved son born at Tapeley May 10th 1833, cornet in the 17th Lancers, accompanied his regiment to Turkey. On the subsequent landing of the forces in the Crimea, he was present at the engagement between the advanced cavalry and a troop of Cossacks, and in the Battle of the Alma the following day. On the flank march to Balaclava his troop charged the Russians’ rearguard, when they took several prisoners and a quantity of baggage on the 25th October. He was one of the renowed five hundred in the Battle of Balaklava, where he immortalised himself by his cool and dauntless bravery, which will ever be remembered with honour. After fighting through a large body of the enemy and when escaping to the camp, three Cossacks pursued him. He mortally wounded the three and arrived at the camp leading his wounded charger, faint from loss of blood. At the Battle of Inkermann he was mortally wounded by a shell from a Russian frigate which burst close to him. He expired the following morning at six o’clock November 6th 1854, regretted, esteemed and beloved by all who knew his amiable disposition, faithful bravery, and private virtues, no less by the deep and enduring sorrow of all who had known him from his earliest days.

His father was Augustus Cleveland esquire, lieutenant colonel of the north Devon militia and deputy lieutenant of the county of Devon. The early part of his life he passed in India subsequently he joined the Enniskillen dragoons and was present with that distinguished regiment at the Battle of Waterloo and retired shortly afterwards from the service, died at Tapeley July 5th 1849.

Cornet Cleveland exchanged into 17th Lancers from the 7th dragoon guards in 1852 .