Sergeant-Major (later Lieutenant and Quartermaster) Charles Wooden VC, 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge’s Own.)
Charles Wooden was born on: 24th March 1827 at Kiel, Denmark (now Germany).
He enlisted 17th Lancers c.1845, and served with the Regiment in the Crimean war 1854-55, and was present at Alma, Balaclava (Light Brigade Charge), Inkerman and the siege of Sebastopol
He rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade 25.10.1854 (His horse was killed).
Wooden was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry at Balaclava.
The citation reads “For having after the retreat of the Light Cavalry at the Battle of Balaclava, being instrumental, together with Dr James Mouat C.B. in saving the life of Lieutenant Colonel Morris C.B. 17th Lancers, by proceeding under a heavy fire to his assistance when he was lying very dangerously wounded in an exposed situation”.
London Gazetted on 26th October 1858.
He was promoted Troop Sergeant Major 1.10.1855, and Regimental Sergeant Major 18.4.1856).
He was promoted to Lieutenant and Quartermaster in the 6th Dragoons 26.10.1860.
Exchanged into 5th Lancers 21.3.1865.
Left the regiment in 1871 and exchanged into 104th Bengal Fusiliers 4.2.1871.
Died on 24th April 1876 at Dover, Kent It is believed that he shot himself at the age of 49, one month after his birthday.
Buried at St. James’s Cemetery, Dover in unmarked grave.
Wooden appeared as a witness at the Court Martial of Lieutenant Colonel Crawley of the 6th Dragoons at Aldershot on 17.11.1863.
He had a ginger beard and was known in the 17th Lancers as, “tish me–the devil.”
The nick-name came about because of a broken English reply he gave when challenged by a sentry who didn’t recognise him.
His Medals and Clasps : VICTORIA CROSS, Crimea (clasps Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, Sebastopol), Turkish Medal, French War Medal, Indian Mutiny Medal.