Thomas Basil Fanshawe
'Sebastopol appears to be a succession of forts which the Russians are strengthening every day. A great number of the men are sick of the whole concern. No one looks forward to another winter out here with any degree of satisfaction'.Captain Thomas Basil Fanshawe served with the 33rd (Duke of Wellington's) Regiment at Sebastopol during the Crimean War. The letters he wrote to his parents and siblings living at Dagenham in Essex provide a unique and unprecedented insight into a conflict often referred to as the ‘Forgotten War’.They contain personal observations, entertaining anecdotes about camp life and often frank comments about his fellow officers. We read about his experience of being under fire in the trenches as well as how he spent his leisure time. Captain Fanshawe even mentions a visit to the British Hotel set up by Mary Seacole and the hospital at Scutari administered by Florence Nightingale. The letters are fully transcribed, with an introduction, illustrations, footnotes, family trees and name index of military personnel providing much additional information.The original letters are held at the Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre at Valence House. They are now published as part of the Sebastopol to Dagenham Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.'This is a superb book - really well researched and presented' - Scott Flaving, Honorary Secretary, Duke of Wellington's Regimental Museum Trustees.