WIL­LIAM HOWARD RUS­SELL

History of War - - CRIMEAN WAR -

THE IR­ISH WAR COR­RE­SPON­DENT WHO EX­POSED THE BRU­TAL RE­AL­I­TIES OF THE CON­FLICT 1820-1907 GREAT BRI­TAIN

Rus­sell was ed­u­cated at Trin­ity Col­lege Dublin and be­gan his jour­nal­is­tic ca­reer in Lon­don and Ire­land. A re­porter with The Times, he first re­ported on con­flict dur­ing the First Sch­leswig War in Den­mark in 1850 be­fore mak­ing his name in the Crimea. Un­wel­comed by the Bri­tish high com­mand, Rus­sell be­friended ju­nior of­fi­cers and lower ranks, and gained in­for­ma­tion by ob­serv­ing them. He cham­pi­oned the or­di­nary Bri­tish sol­dier while sharply crit­i­cis­ing se­nior of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing Com­man­der-in-chief Lord Raglan.

His dra­matic writ­ing had a great im­pact on the Bri­tish pub­lic and politi­cians and he coined the phrase “The Thin Red Line” from his para­phrased de­scrip­tion of High­land troops at Bala­clava. Rus­sell ex­posed lo­gis­ti­cal and med­i­cal bungling, which en­cour­aged Florence Nightin­gale to set out for the Crimea. At the same time, he also sup­ported Mary Sea­cole’s nurs­ing ef­forts. His re­ports of the atro­cious fight­ing con­di­tions were the first time that the Bri­tish pub­lic reg­u­larly read about the re­al­i­ties of war­fare en masse. As such, Rus­sell (who was later knighted) is re­garded as one of the first mod­ern war cor­re­spon­dents.

Rus­sell wore a quasi-mil­i­tary uni­form in the Crimea and al­though he was armed he did not fight in bat­tle

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.