THE CRIMEAN WAR
Our two fragments relate to the Crimean war. England and France fought Russia as the allies of Turkey. The real object of the war was the preservation of the Turkish empire and to keep Russia out of Constantinople, that is to say from the Mediterranean. But the inner meaning of the war need not detain us. Our quotations are only concerned with the sufferings of the English troops in that distant theatre and the efforts of various people to improve their lot.
The Crimean war has left an evil memory in English history for the inefficiency with which it was conducted, and nothing was so terrible as the break-down (for it amounted to that) of the medical service. Our first fragment (a) is taken from Sir Edward Cook's biography in the Makers of the Nineteenth Century series of Delane of The Times (1915). Delane was the greatest editor The Times ever had.Under his leadership the paper was a force of the first magnitude in English politics. In the Crimean war it played an important part owing to the courageous action of its correspondent Russell, who revealed the terrible state of affairs in the army, and to Delane's no less courageous action in going on printing Russell's despatches in the face of the frightened anger of the ruling class who wanted the scandal hushed up.
Our first fragment concludes with the statement that the questions whether Russell was justified in his criticisms or whether the apologists of Lord Raglan, the Commander-inChief, were right, "requires careful scrutiny." In the second quotation (b) we shall clearly see, not only that conditions at the theatre of war actually were frightful, but also that help had to come from other than the official quarters and even that it had to fight its way against the authorities all the time.
The story of Florence Nightingale is one of the romances of English history. Popular imagination grew sentimental over "the lady with the lamp" whose sweet smile relieved the sufferings of the rough soldiers. Mr. Lytton Strachey, from whose Eminent