Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Michael Callaghan

Michael Callaghan :

Michael Callaghan : Crimea Medal with clasps 'Alma', 'Balaklava', 'Inkermann', 'Sebastopol'

Crimea Medal with clasps 'Alma', 'Balaklava', 'Inkermann', 'Sebastopol'

We don't know anything about Michael's early life. He joined the Army and served as a Private in the 63rd Regiment of Foot. He was given the service number 2701.

The Crimean War broke out in October 1853, and Britain and France declared war on Russia in March 1854. At first the 63rd Regiment was not intended to take part in this fighting, but in June it was ordered to prepare to go to war. Michael arrived in the Crimea, then in Russia but today part of the Ukraine, in September 1854.

Michael and the 63rd Regiment played a minor role in the Battle of the Alma on the 20th September. They then moved to Cathcart's Hill, where they joined the siege of Sevastopol. The Russians attacked these forces at the Battle of Balaklava on the 28th October. Michael took part in this battle, which ended in a Russian victory and led to a much larger battle on the 5th November, at Inkerman.

The Russians were again the attackers, but the 63rd Regiment were ordered to counterattack. After vicious hand to hand fighting the Russian attack was defeated and they were forced to withdraw.

The British and French kept Sevastopol under siege until early September 1855. They attacked on the 8th and had captured the city by the next day. Michael may also have been involved in the capture of the Russian fort of Kinburn in October.

The Crimean War ended in February 1856, and the 63rd Regiment left the Crimean Peninsula on the 6th May. Michael had survived the war, but the rest of his life remains a mystery.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council