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Someone below suggested a Crimean command set should include Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. Excellent idea, but were there not notable women heroes in the French, Turkish and Russian camps? Anyone know?
In the Crimean War, siege of Sevastopol many Russian women were involved in the dangerous task of bringing food,water and supplies to the front line. The exploits of Red Dun'ka a laundress who lived in the Redan are probably typical of what went on unrecorded. They were often involved with casualty evacuation as well.
The Russians also had the Sisters of Mercy who were modelled on French and English nurses. There was also Dasha Sevastopolskaya an 18 yr old woman who originally dressed as a male so that she could treat the wounded in the field and was present at the Battle of the Alma and thereafter in Sebastopol.
There are also accounts of children fighting with their fathers and Naval cadets in their early teens taking up positions.
The British and French also had some soldiers wives, who tend not to get mentioned, who accompanied them. They also did the laundry, cooked food, tended the sick and were often close to the front line. In the Crimean War, of course, the front line was clearly defined by the ranges of the cannons, angles of elevation , etc. From camp/depot/safe area to the trenches at Sevastopol was a very short distance compared with the WWI Western Front equivalents.
During the American Civil War there was Mary
Tepe, known as 'French Mary,' who was a vivandiere
for Union zouave troops. She had served as one with
French zouave troops in the Crimean War. At the Battle
of Fredericksburg in 1862, French Mary rescued and
treated wounded Union soldiers. Kneeing down next to
one man, a Confederate bullet hit her in the bottom
of her heel - a wound that never properly healed and
troubled her for the rest of her life.
Union soldiers thought she should be given a medal for her bravery, but the army refused since she
was a civilian and had no official standing. So the
troops took up a collection and bought her a medal of
their own design. They also gave her money which she
used to open a toy store in either Washington or New
York City (I forget which). She ran the store for a
number of years, but her foot troubled her more and
more, and she eventually committed suicide to escape
I will use women from the IMEX pilgrim set to have some nurses for my crimean armies, I don`t think, the dresses are than different.
Don't forget about the Harem of the turkish generals. Belly dancers with and without veil. Girls serving food, smoking the water pipe, playing the flute or the harpe.
Imagine a Strelets set with such figures. Fascinating thought, but it won't happen. Cause, first, we're not sexist and the whole thing could be interpreted as such. Second, men buy toy soldiers and girls buy Barbie dolls. And I don't know of any girls collecting toy soldiers, really.
There is also "Molly Pitcher", whose real name I think was Mary Heyes. At the battle of Monmouth in the American War of Independence, she carried water in pitchers to give to the artillerymen. Her husband was one of the artillerymen, and when he was killed Mary took his place helping to load and fire the gun. George Washington, passing by, shouted "Well done Molly Pitcher", referring to the pitchers of water she had been carrying previously.
There was also a similar event at the siege of, I think, Saragossa in the Peninsular War when a Spanish girl "manned" the guns and became a national heroine. I have also often seen a French girl portrayed as carrying the Tricoleur in representations of the French Revolution - not sure if this is just symbolic or refers to an actual girl.
During the Napoleonic wars, women known as Cantinieres or vivandiere's, were very much part of the grand armee.
They provided food and wine or brandy to the men on the front line. They were often to be found in the thick of the fighting bringing sustenance to the fighting men, and helping the wounded. Such women were still an integral part of the french army during the whole of the crimean war.
The british army had no such organisation. However army regulations allowed for six soldiers out of every hundred to bring their wives with them on campaign. They had no offical status within the british army, and were actually becoming a liability up until they were organised by a woman called Lady Alicia Blackwood who opened a Laundry and a series of shops for the women to sell goods to the men.
As this is my first post to this site I hope it is useful to you gentlemen taking part in this very interesting discussion
Hi Noel, and welcome to the forum. All contributions warmly received.
All very interesting facts. Simply heaps better than a newspaper. Thanks everyone for the fascinating facts. You have changed my mind. More famous women figurines please. Uhm, actually, would love some "Frontier women" shooting and reloading muskets, if I may ask!
Ya gotta love this forum!