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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Hungry Army'


This ballad begins: 'The wind in thundering gales did roar / As I left home in black October, / The hail and rain in torrents came, / And the world I thought was surely over.' There are no publication details given, but this is one of two songs - printed by James Lindsay - on this sheet.

This ballad tells the story of a young Irishman who enlists in the army following an argument with his sweetheart. He soons finds himself being transported overseas to fight against the Russians in the Crimean War (1854-6). The conditions on board the boat are primitive and, upon landing, the 'hungry army' is ordered to 'make a brave stand'. Wounded at the Battle of Inkerman and treated in hosiptal, the young man ends up with a 'wood peg' for a leg.

Interestingly, it was only a few days after the Battle of Inkerman that Florence Nightingale arrived in Turkey, to tend to the wounded. Perhaps best remembered for her work during the Crimean War, in the military hospitals of Turkey, Florence Nightingale, along with a team of nurses, succeeded in vastly improving conditions whilst there and, as a direct result, dramatically reduced the mortality rate.

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Probable period of publication: 1852-1859   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(054)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Hungry Army'
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