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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

"Crimea River"

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas MARCH. 04, 2021

[215-365] 4th. March 2021- This is the tale of a weathered old cannon in Dartmouth Devon. I don't know how many times I have walked past it and not noticed how unusual it is. Things just become part of the scenery.

Today I noticed that it had a motif on top, with a twin headed eagle. That's interesting I thought, I must Google that when I get home. It was not quite so easy and it took me some few attempts before I found out the history behind it.

The siege of Sevastopol lasted from October 1854 until September 1855, during the Crimean War. The allies (French, Sardinia, Ottoman, and British) landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a triumphal march to Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimea, with 50,000 men. The 56-kilometre (35 mi) traverse took a year of fighting against the Russians. Major battles along the way were Alma (September 1854), Balaklava (October 1854), Inkerman (November 1854), Tchernaya (August 1855), Redan (September 1855), and, finally, Malakoff (September 1855). During the siege, the allied navy undertook six bombardments of the capital, on 17 October 1854; and on 9 April, 6 June, 17 June, 17 August, and 5 September 1855.

Sevastopol is one of the classic sieges of all time. The city of Sevastopol was the home of the Tsar's Black Sea Fleet, which threatened the Mediterranean. The Russian field army withdrew before the allies could encircle it. The siege was the culminating struggle for the strategic Russian port in 1854–55 and was the final episode in the Crimean War.

The British sent cannons seized at Sevastopol to many towns in Britain, and several important cities across the Empire. Additionally, several were sent to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

Dartmouth was sent one because of it's long naval history, and here it stands to this day, a selfie spot for children with ice creams, to sit astride during the summer as it takes aim at the entrance to Dartmouth harbour, forever keeping guard.

The double-headed eagle is the symbol most strongly associated with Russia. The first known appearance of the double-headed eagle in Russia dates to the late 15th century. Ivan III (ruled 1462-1505) made the black double-headed eagle an official emblem of the Russian state and it featured as a design motif in the regalia of the Russian Imperial Court, until the fall of monarchy in 1917. In 1992 the Russian Federation restored it to the state coat of arms. Official and personal coats of arms, stamps, coins, military flags and banners have all used the symbol. (Victoria and Albert Museum)

"Cry Me a River" is a popular American torch song, written by Arthur Hamilton, first published in 1953 and made famous in 1955 with the version by Julie London. It has been covered many times and cover versions tend to date your era as you always remember the version that made it to the charts when you were of an age when you cared about things like that.

My cover version was the one by the beehived Mari Wilson in 1983, which, when it first started getting airplay I "misconstrued" as being "Crimea River" until I tuned in to the rest of the lyrics after which "Crimea River" made no sense.

Now you say you're lonely

You cry the whole night through

Well you can cry me a river

Cry me a river

I cried a river over you

The most memorable lines were the strange not quite rhyme.....

Told me love was too plebeian

Told me you were through with me


Misconstrue- Interpret (a person's words or actions) wrongly. The verb misconstrue comes from mis- meaning "wrong" and construe meaning "construction." Combined they mean "to put a wrong construction on" — in other words, to interpret in the wrong way. From Middle English misconstruen.

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Unknown member
Mar 13, 2022

Time to show my ignorance.....I always thought it was miconstrue(d) least that is how I pronounced it when speaking. Maybe I'll perfect Cantonese now since my English is impeccable 😊

Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
Mar 14, 2022
Replying to

I can't wait.

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