The stain glass window and
dedication by Lady Wantage
to her husband and father
(Lord Overstone) in All Saints
Church, Wing, Buckinghamshire.
The British and their allies did not follow
up this victory at Alma, allowed the Russian
troops to escape and marched instead to
Sevastopol, where they commenced a siege.
Here, the British troops held the right flank
which included the Heights of Inkerman,
and it was here that the Russians launched
a massive attack early in the morning of
5 November 1854.
Robert Lindsay, now Captain, had been
on picket duty during the night and was
about to return to camp when the attack
started. He led his company into battle,
pausing only to discard their greatcoats to
enable them to run faster. He and his men
were involved in hand-to-hand fighting
with the Russian troops. For his actions in
both these battles Lindsay became one of
the first recipients of the Victoria Cross.
Lindsay’s army career had come about
largely by accident. Born in 1832 into an
upper class family, his childhood was spent in
Scotland. He went to Eton and then prepared
to enter Haileybury in order to qualify for
civil service life in India – a prospect which
did not excite him. When one of his sister’s
admirers offered him instead a commission in
the Scots Fusilier Guards, he readily accepted.
After Inkerman Lindsay served briefly as
aide-de-camp to General Sir James Simpson,
senior officer in command of British troops
in the Crimea and a friend of his father,
before becoming adjutant of his regiment
in August 1855. On his return from the
Crimea, Lindsay served briefly as equerry
in the new household of the young Prince
of Wales (later Edward VII), but left shortly
after his marriage in 1858.
His wife, Harriet, was the daughter of
Samuel Jones Loyd, first Baron Overstone,
one of the richest men in England.
Overstone endowed the couple with a
considerable fortune and land in Berkshire,
based on the Lockinge estate near Wantage.
Lindsay retired from the army and
concentrated on developing this estate
into one of the largest in the county. He
was an innovative landowner, using the
latest machinery and experimenting with
irrigation. He built model housing for his
agricultural workers and improved their pay.
The estate gave him local prominence and
he served as Conservative MP for Berkshire
from 1865 to 1885. He was appointed Lord
Lieutenant in 1886.
Loyd-Lindsay (he assumed the name
after his marriage) also became a pioneer
and advocate of the volunteer movement
which grew in the 1860s, partly in response
to a perceived aristocratic mismanagement
of the Crimean War, and partly as an attempt
to provide an economic and efficient means
of national defence.