The Crimean War was the first campaign to highlight to the British public just how ill-equipped the British Army was for war.
War had broken out after Russia occupied territories in the Crimea that had previously been controlled by Turkey. Britain became concerned about this Russian expansion and allied itself with Turkey, who then declared war on Russia.
The 90th landed in Crimea on 5th December 1854. The men had no time to adjust to their surroundings, as they were sent immediately to the trenches.
The campaign revealed that soldiers were insufficiently clothed, poorly fed and provided with little shelter. This, together with the very cold weather in the Crimea, led to a huge number of men dying from disease.
The 90th took part in a number of important attacks on the enemy, the most famous of these being at the Redan. The Redan was a large fortification that circled the city of Sebastopol in Crimea, and became the focus of the British attacks. The men of the 90th displayed great courage in these attacks under very heavy fire.
Although the attack on the Redan failed, it had a great effect on the main action and led to peace being signed in 1856. In the course of the Crimean campaign, the 90th had 313 soldiers and 19 officers killed in action. This does not include the huge numbers killed by disease. In this campaign, the 90th also received the first two of the many Victoria Cross medals awarded to the Regiment.