Frederick Short was born in Windsor and enlisted in the 3rd Light Dragoons in December 1843 aged 18 years. In the following year, he transferred to the 4th Light Dragoons. He attained Sergeant in July 1854 and served with distinction in the Crimean war and in particular in the famous Charge of the Light Brigade, when he dispatched several enemy artillery drivers with his sword, a fact confirmed by 4th Light Dragoon, R.S. Farquharson, ‘Lieutenant Jolliffe and Sergeant Frederick Short did some good hard work at the guns.

The former cleared off a number of gunners with his pistol, and the latter disposed of several drivers, and their horses as well, thus materially preventing the enemy from removing the guns’.

Because of this Short was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Short gave his own account of the charge in June 1863:

‘I have been a Troop Sergeant-Major for eight years. The regiment now called the 4th Hussars was formerly called the 4th Light Dragoons. I remember the charge of the Light Cavalry Brigade at Balaclava. I was on the extreme left of the right hand squadron in the front rank during the charge. At the commencement of the charge the 8th Hussars were in line with the 4th Light Dragoons and the 11th Hussars were somewhat in advance of our lines. I am certain that the 4th Light Dragoons who were not disabled charged right up to the Russian battery. On arriving at the guns the Russians were retreating with them from their original positions. The 4th endeavoured to take possession of these guns.

Lieutenant Jolliffe (now Captain, retired) was next to me. I was slightly in advance and attacked the drivers of the guns while Lieutenant Jolliffe shot with his revolver the gunners sitting on the guns. I state positively that I cut down at least six drivers.’

Advanced to Troop Sergeant-Major in February 1855, Short was awarded his D.C.M. in the following month. He was awarded his Long Service & Good Conduct Medal in February 1863.

Short’s civilian life as an Innkeeper was far from happy, The London Gazette of 4 January 1870 stated : ‘Frederick Short of Regent Street, in Chapel-Allerton, in the parish of Leeds, in the county of York, formerly Innkeeper, adjudicated bankrupt on 11th day of November 1869. He died at Kilmeredon, Somerset in May 1886, aged 61 years.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. The Crimean War 1854-56