The Charge of the Light Brigade is a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
On October 25, 1854, British cavalry, led by Lord Cardigan, charged against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. The charge was a disaster: 118 men were killed, 127 wounded.
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate at the time, immortalized the battle in his poem. According to his grandson Charles, Tennyson wrote the poem only moments after reading an account of the battle in The Times. The poem became hugely popular and was even distributed to soldiers on the front line.
In Virginia Woolf's novel To The Lighthouse, Mr. Ramsay – the novel's patriarch – often quotes the poem, especially the lines "Stormed at with shot and shell" and "Someone had blundered".