Event From 1853 To 1856
War between Russia and an alliance of France, Germany, Britain, Turkey and the Kingdom of Sardinia. Major battles include those at Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol, where they still occasionally find the remains of fallen soldiers. This war holds a number of firsts: the first to be photographed and the first to be reported by telegraph as it happened; the first to involve slaughter on a massive scale; the first to use explosives shells and trench warfare; the first to use anaesthetics. The Victoria Cross was created in 1856 to recognise acts of gallantry in this war. It was the first medal for valour awarded to servicemen of any rank. Deaths totalled over half a million, many more of disease than wounds, as Florence Nightingale revealed.