Today, 25th October, is Balaclava day.

On this day in 1854, the Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. It proved to be one of the most extraordinary examples of courage in warfare.

It reminds me of the courage shown by a husband and wife team who owned a jewellery business in the West End of London. They had been raided by a gang on motor bikes.

Their misfortune continued when the insurance company refused their claim because of a condition precedent.

A mutual friend connected us. I met with the couple and their counsel and introduced them to some of my friends and colleagues who are experts in this field.

We advised them to focus on the broker. Unfortunately their counsel did not agree and so they took the insurance company to court.

“Into the valley of death
Rode the six hundred.”

The result was horrific. The court found for the insurance company and the family had to pay a mountain of a cost bill.

A few years later they contacted me again. They said they wished they had listened to us. They had since taken action against the broker and asked for my help at a mediation that was coming up between them.

The point of this story is courage. I admire the courage of these jewellers for not giving up when all seemed lost.

They stuck to their guns and eventually they got what they were owed.

Yet at times they must have felt as though they had destroyed something as valuable as the Light Brigade.

Miscommunication and egos are usually behind stories like these.

Here at Moot, we have a shrewd, calm approach. With us on your team you’re less likely to attack the wrong guns (1854), or as in the jewellers’ case, the wrong company.

I hope you enjoy the full poem by Tennyson, which he wrote after reading a report of “The Charge of The Light Brigade” in a newspaper.


Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.


Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


Alfred, Lord Tennyson, recited his poem onto a wax cylinder in 1890. You can listen to his recording here



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