Although the Imperial War Museum only deals with conflict from 1914 onwards, in its Photograph Archive there are a few rare photos from before this date. This image from the Crimean War shows the Grand Redan, a Russian fortification in the port city of Sevastopol.
On the 8th September 1855, one year into the siege of Sevastopol, the Redan was subject to an assault by British troops. One of those taking part that day was a young officer from Devon, 20-year-old Captain John Stevenson. He led his company in the attack and was mortally wounded. The Redan was abandoned by the Russians that night.
Captain Stevenson’s grieving family erected an elaborate, carved marble memorial for him in their local church in Moretonhampstead, Devon. It depicts two flags and a broken column, symbolising a life cut short.