George Duckworth, a captain in the 5th Dragoon Guards, died of cholera at Varna, on the west coast of the Black Sea, on 24 August 1854. He neither fought the Russians nor reached the Crimea. The interest in his life stems not from any military exploit but from the record he left behind him. The diary he kept for the last three months of his life is both vivid and immediate. It is complemented by Duckworth’s own letters home, as well as by letters to and about him from his family and fellow officers. These letters record his life and character as well as his army career and experiences during the war. The sad story of Duckworth’s early and inglorious end, in the midst of a deadly epidemic, makes a poignant addition to the history of the first phase of the Crimean War.