Leonard Currie

Medals awarded

  • Crimea Medal 1854-56
    Clasp: Alma
  • Turkish Crimea Medal

Leonard Currie arrived in New York in 1849. Having been just appointed as an Ensign in the 19th Regiment of Foot, he passed through the great American city en-route to join the regiment stationed in Montreal.  It would not be the last time Currie’s eventful military career took him across the Atlantic.

Following a period as Adjutant of the newly formed School of Musketry at Hythe, Captain Currie rejoined the 19th as a member of the Grenadier Company in time to sail with the regiment to Bulgaria before the regiment moved again by ship to face the Russians in the Crimean.

On September 20th 1854 the 19th Foot went into battle at the river Alma. During the fighting an enemy bullet entered Captain Currie’s instep, smashing the bone to pieces; a wound so severe that amputation was considered. The Alma was the first Battle Honour award to the 19th of Foot, however Captain Currie’s wound meant that he would take no further part in the campaign.

After a period at Scutari hospital in Constantinople (now Istanbul) his brother, Sir Edmund Currie, travelled east in order to accompany his brother back to Britain. Although still on crutches Captain Currie  received his Crimea medal, in person from Queen Victoria in a parade on the 18th May 1855. Records show that Her Majesty subsequently took an active interest in his recovery.

Captain Currie did not go to India with the regiment in 1857, taking command instead of the regiment’s Depot at Chatham; subsequently he was instrumental in the raising of the 2nd Battalion in 1858.

On the 15th October 1861 he sold his commission and returned to America, siding with the Unionists in the American Civil War. In 1862 he was appointed Colonel commanding the 133rd New York Regiment of Infantry which saw action in multiple battles with the Confederates; Currie himself being severely wounded at the siege of Port Hudson. Despite this wound Colonel Currie retained the command until the regiment was disbanded at the end of hostilities.

After a brief period living in the Pyrenees, he and his family returned to the south of England. Despite the wounds sustained at the Alma and Fort Hudson affecting his health, he lived to 75, and died in  1907.