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The Crimean War

During the Crimean War, which began in 1854, the use of the new electric telegraph transformed the reporting of campaigns and casualties. The conduct of the war was heavily criticised, both on military grounds and for the inadequate medical preparations.

An illustration of Russian prisoners in a boat was included in 'Scutari and its Hospitals', a damning account by Sydney Godolphin Osborne of the treatment of the sick and wounded. Conditions were such that men were in greater danger of death from disease than from their injuries.

The Florence Nightingale Collection includes other publications also relating to the war and to her work at Scutari, a large village on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus where the barrack hospital was located.

Photographic images added to the impact of the war reports. James Robertson was one of the early campaign photographers. A set of his views around Sevastapol survives with the papers of the 5th Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for War in the first year of the conflict.

Newcastle, on leaving office in February 1855, journeyed to the Crimea to see the war front for himself. His journal, from June to October 1855, provides a fascinating account of events from the perspective of a senior politician.

Further sources relating to this subject area are held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at King's Meadow Campus. See our website for information about our collections and catalogues.

Russian Prisoners Zoom in

Russian Prisoners

British camp Zoom in

British camp

Newcastle diary Zoom in

Newcastle diary

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