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Victoria and Albert collected works documenting political and military events

Attributed to Cundall & Howlett

Sergeant John Breese (1817-89) 1855-6

Salted paper print, enhanced with ink in some areas | 24.8 x 18.9 cm (image) | RCIN 2500154

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Photograph of Sergeant John Breese standing with his body turned slightly to the right. He is wearing military uniform with a sash and two medals. His right arm is visibly missing under his jacket sleeve and he is holding a sword in his left hand.

Sergeant John Breese served with the 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars during the Crimean War and lost his arm at the Battle of Inkerman. He was one of the wounded men Queen Victoria and Prince Albert met at Brompton Barracks, Chatham, where he was sketched by Queen Victoria. This portrait is one of a number of photographs that Queen Victoria commissioned of wounded Crimean veterans. The Queen presented Breese with his Crimean Medal on Horse Guards Parade, London, on 18 May 1855. She later appointed Breese a Yeoman of the Guard, with a pension for life.

Troop Sergeant Major Smith saw Breese's injury occur: 'The enemy must have known where we were, for they dropped their cannonballs just over the brow of the hill so that they passed through us about breast high. One struck a horse's head, knocking it to pieces, then took off Sergeant Breese's arm. It then struck Private Wright  full in the chest passing right through him. He fell out of the saddle close to my horse's feet.'
  • Creator(s)

    Attributed to Cundall & Howlett (photographer)

    Sergeant John Breese (1817-89)
    Army-GB-Cavalry-11th Prince Albert's Own Hussars (1846-1920)
    Army-GB-Cavalry Regiments
  • 24.8 x 18.9 cm (image)

    29.5 x 23.1 cm (page dimensions)

  • Sergeant J Breese,11th Hussars (14 years service). He was at Battle of Alma, Light Cavalry Charge at Balaclava and lost his arm at Inkerman when on picket duty (Now Yeoman of the Guard) [in Crimean Portraits, 1854 - 1856]

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Engineering & Technology
        • Military engineering
          • Arms (weapons)
            • Side arms (weapons)
              • Swords
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Clothing
          • Costume
            • Uniforms
              • Military uniforms
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Plastic arts
        • Numismatics
          • Medals
            • Campaign medals
              • Crimea Medal (1854-56)
    • Social sciences
      • Military affairs
        • Wars, Campaigns & Battles
          • Wars
            • Wars of the nineteenth century
              • Crimean War (1853-1856)