The Light Brigade Society
1. The Light Brigade Society was established to recognize the bravery and fortitude of the British Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava, 25 October 1854.
The Society meets annually on the 25th October pursuant for this Purpose alone. Appropriate toasts and oaths are, at that time, made. In addition to the October meeting, The Society may meet from time to time for the discussion of unimportant matters - save those listed in Rule 3. Hereafter “the purpose” is referred to as The Purpose and “the society” is referred to as The Society or LBS.
2. Membership: Membership in The Light Brigade Society is limited to men - over the age of majority, without regard to rank, religion, race, creed, veteran status, dexterity, nationality, height, width, weight or intelligence. (No villains or scalawags convicted of a capital offense are allowed.)
Hereafter the membership is referred to as The Membership.
Members must at all times conduct themselves in a manner that will bring glory and high repute to The Society. Contrary actions, if determined to be such by two thirds of The Membership, are grounds for de-membering.
The Officers of The Society will represent The Membership between the Annual Meetings. Their decisions are final, subject to the revision by two-thirds of The Membership at the following Annual Meeting. In no way may The Officers contravene The Rules. The Corresponding Secretary will communicate with The Membership on a periodic basis subject to The Rules listed herein.
3. Finances: The Society may, from time to time, collect dues and bounties pursuant to its Purpose (See Rule 1). Dues may not exceed £35.00 per annum without a vote of the majority of The Membership in attendance at the Annual Meeting.
An occasional reporting of the accounts to The Membership is encouraged.
The Society may not hold real estate or securities valued in excess of £500,000,000.
Save for occasional contributions to The Fund for the Maintenance of the Orphans and Widow of the Crimea Conflict, The Society may not make charitable donations without the unanimous consent of The Membership.
The Society may not raise or contribute funds to any political movement or party, or assist any revolutionary or subversive cause. It may, however, raise armies and navies of sufficient size for its own protection.
4. Limitations on the Society’s Actions: The Society may not, under any circumstances, publicly declare or advocate any position on any important matter of philosophy, theology, society, economy, agronomy or history, save:
- The recognition of the fundamental importance of the Battle of Balakava and the inscrutability of the causes of the Crimea War;
- The recognition of the propensity for men to act in foolish and counterintuitive ways;
- The recognition that the values of Courage, Fidelity, Chivalry, Responsibility and Brotherhood still provide sound guidepost for the sojourn of a man’s life;
- And finally, the recognition that we do not appreciate Gravity as much as we should.
5. Conduct of the Annual Meeting: The Annual Meeting will be held on 25th October of each year (See Rule 1) … “until their Glory fade.” The Annual Meeting shall be referred to as the "Annual Meeting.”
- Call to Meeting: There shall no less than two but preferably three “Calls to the Annual Meeting.” There are no restrictions on the mode of announcement but under all circumstances at least one should be written in English and issued ten (10) days prior to The Annual Meeting. The “last call” maybe at the Annual Meeting itself but no later than the Serving of The Last Whiskey.
- Table Presentation: A full table is encouraged but remains optional. Libation, however, is required. If attendance is sufficient, there should be five tables, one for each of the Five Regiments of the Light Brigade – the 8th Hussars, the 17th Lancers, the 4th Light Dragoons, the 11 Hussars and the 13th Light Dragoons. Each table should have assigned to it a Table Commander to keep order and a Toastmaster. An empty Black Bottle should be at each table. Proper drinking vessels should be provided. Only manly food and drink should be served.
- Conduct of the Members: During the course of the evening each member will always act in a manner that will bring glory and high repute to The Society (See Rule 2). All discussions both formal and informal will be civil and confined to unimportant matters, save the exceptions cited in Rule 3.
- Women: Since the presence of “fair sex” has a soothing effect on the male beast and is found to be simulating and occasionally elevating, women may, from time to time, be allowed to attend Society events at the special invitation of The Society’s Membership. It is best, however, if they are seated at a separate table. We ask only that they take pity on our wretched souls.
- Approved Dress for All Functions, Formal & Informal: The Members are strongly encouraged to dress in a manner befitting the prestige and stature of the organization.
- Standard-Preferred dress is as follows:
The Medal of the Society (cast in 2002 with ribbon and no adornments) must be worn at allThe Society’s events. Here after The Society’s Medal is referenced as the MOS.
White, tan or khaki dress shirt with regimental tie (diagonal stripe, alternating colors). Preferred colors for neckwear are those of the regiments of the Light Brigade or/and The Society’s Tie (Deep Blood Red, Deep Dark Green, alternating thin strips of Gold and/or Deep Blue).
Tan, olive or khaki cotton dress pants – pleats preferred. Boots inside the cuff. (No shorts, jeans, bathrobes, nickers or ponchos.) Wool dress pants, riding cut in gray, black, dark green or red are allowed. Boot worn outside the cuff.
Kilts, both clan and regimental, may be worn.
Haversack (of the original type or later approved types) worn opposite the sword with dress pistol/sword belt of black, tan or white, worn over the Haversack sash.
The British-type commando/army olive green sweater with Raglan sleeves was approved in 1998 for all Society events. (Must be worn with tie.)
- Period Regimental Dress:
Crimea War Period regimental dress is encouraged but not required. All head ware, badges & bags, jackets, pants, adornments & boots worn by enlisted men and officers in the Crimean War are approved – both dress and undress uniforms alike. The dress of the five regiments in all periods of their history prior to 1914 is allowed.
The Light Brigade Society is not a re-enactment organization (See Rule 1). Certain liberality of sentiment and dress are allowed, with the approval of The Society.
- Swords and Side arms:
Weapons may be worn for ceremonial purposes only but are limited to the following:
Swords: Cavalry sabers of the mid-19th century generic type are adequate. Replicas or originals of the Pattern 1796 Light Cavalry, Pattern 1822 Light Cavalry Trooper’s Saber, or the 1851 Revised Issue are preferred.
Pistols: Black powder percussion single-shot pistols of the modified “flintlock” type are the only fully acceptable sidearm. Of revolvers, only the 1851 Colt Navy steel black powder model .36 calibre and the British-made Deane Adams Model 1851, .50 calibre are allowed.
Neither pistols nor revolvers may not come loaded to the dinner table. Swords must be scabbard.
- Toasts & Oaths: Over the course of the evening, Five Official Toasts will be made.
All toasts and oaths from the various regimental tables must conclude one hour before the Final Toast.
Following the first two Official Toasts of The Society, which open the ceremonies, each of the remaining will be made at intervals of one half-hour. The Last Toastmust be made with Irish or Scotts Whiskey. Each toast is followed by a response from The Membership.
First Toast: “To God, Mother and Country!”
Response: “Here!” “Here!”
Second Toast: [Note fallen comrades & heroes by name] - Then toast, “To Comrades and Heroes lost at Sea or on the Ice, in heat of battle or to the sands of time!”
Response: “Death or Glory”
Third Toast: “To Wives and Lovers!”
Response: “May they Never Meet!”
Forth Toast: “To those who have the Courage!”
Response: “To the Light Brigade!”
The Reading of the Poem: “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Fifth and Final Toast: “A la folie des hommes!"
Response: “To male stupidity!”