Friday, January 9, 2015

Major-General James Bucknall Bucknall Estcourt

Major-General B.B. Estcourt (1802-1855), taken in the Crimea shortly before his death

Major-General James Bucknall Bucknall Estcourt was a chief staff officer during the Crimean War and died of cholera in the Crimea. He was a close friend of Lord Raglan, the commander of the British troops during the Crimean WarHe was one of the officers held by the public to be responsible for the sufferings of the British troops in the first winter in the Crimea but was strongly defended by Lord Raglan.

B.B. Estcourt

He saw action at the battles of Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman where he was severely wounded. When appointed to act as Major-General, Estcourt had been a surprise choice having seen no previous active service; indeed, he had expected to go with the Army as Judge-Advocate. Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Sterling doubted his suitability for the appointment: 'The Adjutant-General is a very amiable man, a perfect gentleman and a good Christian, but as innocent of the meaning of discipline as a sucking baby.'

B.B. Estcourt (Royal Collection Trust)

His death was universally regretted. 'He was a man of remarkably kind and courteous disposition', and 'a man greatly loved by Lord Raglan, by all his friends at headquarters, and indeed by all who knew him'. Lord Raglan was afraid to attend the funeral, for fear of showing his grief; but the last visit he paid before his own death, was to Estcourt's tomb. It was announced that Estcourt would have been made a K.C.B. if he had survived. His widow, who had courageously spent the winter in camp, and had been by her husband's deathbed, was raised to the rank of a K.C.B.'s widow by special patent in 1856 (source: Wikipedia).

(photos by Roger Fenton, Crimea, 1855)

next episode: Rome


  1. His widow was equally a special, devoted person as well! Very interesting post, and unique photos! Especially the first one!

  2. What a handsome and distinguished looking man. To see so much service and then be carried off by the cholera. His widow truly deserved her honour.


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