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Norwich Heart, Heritage Economic & Regeneration Trust

George Wilde

George Wilde

The inscription on his headstone in the Rosary cemetery in Norwich is very difficult to read, but it has been transcribed as follows:-

"George Wilde, late of the 13th Light Dragoons.   He served his Queen and Country for nearly 23 years.   He went through the whole Crimean Campaign and was wounded in the memorable charge at Balaclava.   He was also in the Maori War.   For all of which he received due honours.   He died 18th May 1887 aged 62 years."  

Also buried with George is his wife May Ann Wilde, died 20th November 1892 aged 69.

George Wilde was a Norwich boy, born in the parish of St Margaret's in St Benedict Street in March 1825.   Son of George Wilde, a plasterer,  George followed in his father's footsteps, also becoming a plasterer.   At the age of 18 years and 5 months he joined the Army when he was described as having a "Fair complexion, light brown hair with grey eyes and his trade was 'plasterer'."   He probably joined the 13th Light Dragoons because they were stationed in the Cavalry Barracks in Barrack Street at the time.   If he was seeking adventure and to see the world, he was not disappointed.   He served in the Crimean War and took part in the charge of the Light Brigade in 1854, where he was wounded, and his horse was killed under him.   Of the 600 who took part in the charge only 190 returned.   He was awarded Crimean Medals with bars for the battles he fought in Balaclava, Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol, and also the Turkish Medal.   Later he went to New Zealand and took part in the second Maori War in 1860/61 where he was once again wounded.

He returned to England and was discharged as medically unfit on the 26th February 1867. The report stated "Found unfit for further service.   Has Chronic Rheumatism.   The Disease did not exist before enlistment and is therefore the result of long service and exposure - he has broken down constitution which will materially affect his ability to earn his livelihood."   He was awarded a pension of 13d (6.5p) a day.

Home in Norwich he followed his father when he was made a Freeman of the City on 20th October 1868.   He died at his home in Gladstone Street on the 18th May 1887 aged 62.   His death certificate gives his occupation as Messenger and Army Pensioner.   He was given a military funeral by the Prince of Wales 19th Hussars, then stationed in Norwich and also the Artillery Volunteers who formed the cavalcade from Gladstone Street to the burial at Rosary Cemetery.

His medals were given to the Norwich Castle Museum by his step-daughter Mrs Fox.

June Marriage

May 2010