Dunham Massy

Lieutenant Dunham Massy or ‘Redan Massy’ became a celebrity of the Crimean war.

We hold two letters in the collection written by Massy to the regimental surgeon, Longmore. The first recounts his journey home on the hospital ship. The letter featured here was written once peace was declared.

Massy seems to be a formidable character, demonstrated by both his military career and also in his correspondence.

Consummate humbug. This extract from Massy’s letter to Longmore expresses his disgust with the ‘blood money’ he has been offered in compensation for his injuries.

Aged seventeen, he led the regiment’s second assault on the Redan at Sevastopol. Standing in full view of the enemy Massy urged the men forward until he was shot in the thigh. Later, his right leg was crushed by falling stone and masonry and he lay injured in the Redan all night.  Massy was rescued the next morning and it was thanks to the skill of the regiment’s Surgeon Longmore that he survived. News of Massy’s heroism quickly spread and pictures of him captioned ‘Redan Massy’ were reproduced in all the illustrated newspapers. By the time he reached home he had become a famous Crimean veteran.

You can read the transcript of Massy’s letter to Longmore here.

The compensation of £59 6s mentioned in the letter equates to just over £2000 today.