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Charge of the Light Brigade - Learning Resource KS3


Print off the versions of Charge of the Light Brigade in this Learning Resource. Collate the best version of the poem in your opinion, listing the variants.  Look at the version which now is considered the ‘final’ version. Whose is better, ‘yours’ or Tennyson’s? Why

There is an 1890 recording of Tennyson reading The Charge of the Light Brigade on www.poetryarchive.org  It was made on a wax cylinder that has seen better days.  Make your own recording.

 Roger Fenton took a horse-drawn ‘photographic van’ to the Crimea and his 360 images of the war represent the first extensive war reportage. Find out about him.

John Bright was a radical politician who was against the war and made a speech in parliament on 23rd February 1855 against the war, when he talked of ‘the Angel of Death stalking the land.’  Find out about him. 

The First World War inspired many critical poems of war.  See the World War 1 poetry archive. www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit 

Background Information and Resources

Charge of the Light Brigade

The doomed Charge of the Light Brigade took place on 25th October 1854 during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.  About 600 lightly armed cavalry troops charged bravely to their death against 25,000 Russians because of a mistake of their commanders. Only 195 came back.

William Howard Russell was a journalist on The Times and one the earliest examples of an ‘embedded’ reporter.  He despatched an article published in the second edition of The Times on 13th November, 1854 and then again the following day.  

Alfred Tennyson read the report, saw the line ‘Someone had blundered,’ and was inspired to write the poem straight away. It was changed about twenty times and published in The Examiner on Saturday 9th December, 1854.   

Alfred Tennyson was the Poet Laureate and so was meant to write about nationally significant events.  It is interesting that he wrote a poem suggesting criticism of military leadership.  The poem was published first in a national periodical, The Examiner, then in a book and then in single sheets. Many variants are held in the Tennyson Research Centre.

A very thorough analysis of the development of the Charge of the Light Brigade can be found in ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’: The Creation of a Poem by Edgar Shannon and Christopher Ricks in Studies in Bibliography 1985, pp2-44.

Look Out For

OPEM exhibition at The Collection

28 January - 2 May 2017

Exhibition Opening Times: 10:00am - 4:00pm

OPEM 4 is the fourth biennial open exhibition hosted by The Collection and Usher Gallery, and will showcase the work of local and regional artists who were chosen by a pair of industry experts (writer/curator Elinor Morgan and artist Brian Griffiths) based on the quality and originality of their work. Hundreds of artists from around Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and more entered into the competition, hoping to have their work featured centre-stage at a professional art exhibition.

The winning artists are:

• Reece Straw

• Jake Kent

• Stephanie Douet

• Jake Moore

• Selina Mosinski

• Matthew Chesney

• Ellen Brady

• Colette Griffin

This will be the first time some of these artists have exhibited with a professional institution. By winning the competition these artists will each receive money and supplies to fund the creation of an all-new original piece of work for this particular show. Other prizes include a £3000 purchasing/commissioning prize which has been sponsored by the Heslam Trust, while another artist will receive their own solo exhibition in The Usher Gallery.


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Last updated: 18 February 2011

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