Standing near the entrance to Liverpool Cathedral and St James Cemetery is a Crimea War Memorial, dedicated to seven serviceman who died in hospital there.
At 1230pm on 16th January 1855 the Cunard steamer Cambria arrived at Huskisson Dock carrying 213 wounded soldiers from the battles of Alma and Inkerman. They had endured a three week journey from Constantinople and were due to be taken to the Chatham Naval Hospital in Kent.
Thirty eight of the men were too ill to travel and were instead taken to the workhouse hospital on Brownlow Hill. Three wards were st aside for them and they were well looked after, being visited by the Mayor and receiving donations of port wine, shaving utensils and clothing.
Most of the soldiers made a full recovery but seven of those died of fever and dysentery. They were interred at St James Cemetery with full military honours, with large crowds lining the funeral route to pay their respects. Back at the warehouse, members of the Military were provided with ale, bread and butter in the dining hall. A recruiting sergeant thanked the people of Liverpool for their help, saying that the arrangements for the soldiers comfort could not be surpassed.
In 1856 a memorial was unveiled at the cemetery containing the names of the seven men lost and with the inscription “Erected by public subscription to record the courage and endurance displayed by the privates of the British Army who at the call of duty devoted their lives to maintain the honour of their country and the fidelity of England and her allies”.
It was not such an unusual occurrence for servicemen to die away from combat situations. Of the 20,000 British soldiers who died in the Crimean war, around three quarters of those did so of illness rather than as a result of battle. However it must have been awful for their relatives to realise their loved ones had survived the conditions there and a sea voyage, only to die on English soil.