Alma Cottage

The photograph shows Alma Cottage built by Chester
resident "Henry Platt".  It is hard to take a decent
photograph of the building without trespassing as
there are large hedges in the front garden to give the
residents such much needed privacy from the
promenade.  The first resident Mr Henry Platt named
the dwelling after the
Battle of Alma which was the
first major engagement of the Crimean War on  
September 20th 1854.  
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The operation began according to plan with the French successfully scaling the cliffs. Unfortunately, the French commanders on south bank were unable
to advance without reinforcements, which were slow to arrive. To the east, the British began to cross the river with Sir George Brown's Light Division
and Sir George de Lacy Evans' 2nd Division in the lead. As the two divisions crossed the river and worked their way over and through numerous
obstacles, they became intermixed. Unable to realign their troops under fire, British officers urged their men to attack up Kourgane Hill.

Surging forward, the British opened fire on the Russians, driving them back. The British soldiers successfully captured the Greater Redoubt, but were
forced to withdraw back down the hill as casualties mounted and a large body of Russian infantry approached. As this attack was taking place, a curious
episode occurred. Lord Raglan and his staff, leaving his commanders to make the assault, rode across the river and, after inadvertently evading both
sides' picket lines, occupied a position on a spur of Telegraph Hill. As a result, he commanded the battle from behind the enemy's lines.

From his position, Raglan called for artillery to join him and soon two nine-pounder guns were supporting the renewed attacks on Kourgane Hill. In front
of the hill, the Duke of Cambridge's 1st Division was launching another assault. Moving up the hill, firing as they advanced, his men were able to retake
the Greater Redoubt after heavy fighting. To the west, other elements of the 1st Division secured Telegraph Hill. British infantry on both hills were
quickly joined by artillery, which began firing into the retreating Russian troops.

Casualties for the combined army at Alma were 1,340 killed and wounded for the French and 2,002 for the British. On the Russian side, killed and
wounded numbered 5,709. Following the battle, Raglan urged St. Arnaud to quickly march on Sevastopol, but the marshal declined. As a result, the
Russians were able to recover and force the allies to fight on for two more years. Though a victory, the Battle of Alma exposed a number of weaknesses
in the British Army, ranging from command and control issues to problems with basic drill and maneuvers.
English Troops crossing the River Alma in 1854
Additional Information - Battle of Alma

Landing at Calamity Bay on September 13, 1854, the combined French and
British forces of Marshal Jacques St. Arnaud and Lord Raglan began
marching south towards the Russian port and naval base at Sevastopol. A
trek of approximately 35 miles, the allied force was required to cross three
rivers en route their objective. In an effort to block the advance, Russian
General Prince Aleksandr Menshikov positioned his forces behind the
second river, the Alma, and ordered artillery positions prepared across from
the village of Bourliouk.

Menshikov's position appeared strong as the south bank of the Alma was a
sheer cliff from the coast inland to Telegraph Hill. Immediately to the east of
Telegraph Hill was Kourgane Hill, which featured a large prepared position
known as the Greater Redoubt. The road to Sevastopol ran in the valley
between the two hills. To break through the Russian line, St. Arnaud
proposed sending French troops across the river near the coast. Supported
by the guns of the fleet, they would scale the cliffs, drawing the Russians
away from the two hills. This would permit the British to attack across the
river.
English Troops crossing the River Alma in 1854
Alma Cottage
Old Window & Wall
Parts from the Past

The photograph to the right shows an old
window into the attached outbuilding of Alma
Cottage.  I am unsure of its purpose, but would
guess that it was associated with live stock.  The
walls and window look to date back too the mid
1800s.
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