A VWF Guide to Campaign Medals of the Victorian era

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A VWF Guide to Campaign Medals of the Victorian era

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 15:45

Hi Guys,

Thought a basic introduction to medals of the Victorian period may be a helpful topic for others.

Here we go, a timeline of Victorian Campaign medals :-)

Image [Just in case you come across something like this in your loft.......]

Here we go with the earliest official Victorian Medal (there was one earlier in 1837, however it was not awarded by Queen Victoria, but by the Honourable East India Company, I have left most of these out, and will cover them later, along with Gallantry medals often encountered).

1839 – Ghunzee Medal

Image

Clasps: None Awarded, Unnoficial ones are occasionally encountered.

Overview

This is the second medal awarded to all ranks by Britain for a particular campaign and was struck on orders of the Shah of Afghanistan in 1839 to show his appreciation to the British forces who restored him to his throne. Two separate dies exist for this medal with one having a wider border around the edge than the other. The second also has a narrower and taller fortress.

Naming for this medal appears either on the rim or on the reverse above the mural crown. Many naming styles exist and it is generally thought that regiments had a batch of medals named by a silversmith at one time.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 09 Aug 2008 19:07, edited 2 times in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:09

1840 – St Joan D’Acre Medal
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:11

1842 – Candahar, Ghunzee & Cabul Medal

Clasps: NONE

Overview:

As with most early Victorian medals this award bears the young head of Queen Victoria and the legend 'VICTORIA REGINA' on its obverse. The reverse of this medal can differ depending on which action(s) for which it was awarded. There are four variants including:

'CANDAHAR' with the date '1842' within a laurel wreath underneath a royal crown;
identical but with 'CABUL' inscribed within the wreath; a pair of intertwined laurel wreaths with 'GHUZNEE' and 'CABUL' inside and the date 1842 in the exergue below; same as 1 and 2 above but with ' CANDAHAR', 'GHUZNEE' and 'CABUL' within the wreath. There is also the Variation CABVL, which is exceedingly rare.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:14

1842 – Jellalabad Medal

Image

Clasps: NONE

Overview:

Awarded for service in Afghanistan from 1841-1842.

There are two issues of this medal of different designs:

The first issue has the 'Mural Crown' with the inscription 'JELLALABAD' above on the obverse while the reverse has the date 'VII APRIL 1842'. The suspender is of a straight steel design which was either fixed directly to the medal or by a small ring.

The second design has the head of young Queen Victoria with the legend 'VICTORIA VINDEX' or 'VICTORIA REGINA' while the reverse had the winged figure of Victory with a laurel wreath in her right hand and the Union Jack in her left. The upper half of the reverse also bears the inscription 'JELLALABAD VII APRIL' while the date 'MDCCCXLII' appears in the exergue below.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 09 Aug 2008 19:08, edited 1 time in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:16

1842 – Medal for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie

Claps: NONE

Overview:

Awarded for service in Afghanistan 1842, specifically for the Defence of Kelat-I-Ghilzie. The obverse of this medal bears a laurel wreath with the 'Mural Crown' at the top within which is a shield with the inscription 'KELAT-I-GHILZIE'. The reverse has a trophy of arms on top of a plaque bearing the inscription 'INVICTA MDCCCXLII'. The suspender is straight attached via a pin which passes through a steel clip attached to the top of the medal.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:18

1842 – China War Medal

Clasps: NONE

Overview:

Awarded for service in the First China War 1841-42. The obverse of this medal depicts the familiar head of young Queen Victoria with the legend 'VICTORIA REGINA'. The reverse has a trophy of arms with an oval shield in the centre bearing the Royal Arms underneath a palm tree. Above is the legend 'ARMIS EXPOSCERE PACEM' while the word 'CHINA' with the date 1842 appears in the exergue below. The non-swivelling suspender is plain and straight being sweated directly to the medal.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:18

1843 – Scinde Medal

Image

Date Instituted: 1843.

Campaign: Scinde 1843.

Description: There are three versions of this medal for the various actions fought during the Scinde campaign. The obverse is common to all issues bearing the head of the young Queen Victoria with the legend 'VICTORIA REGINA'. The reverse of the first strike has the Royal Crown of Queen Victoria at the top and a laurel wreath containing the inscription 'MEEANEE 1843'. The second strike is identical but with the inscription 'HYDERABAD 1843' within the wreath while the third strike has 'MEEANEE, HYDERABAD 1843'. The suspender is of the common swivelling ornate scroll type encountered on many Victorian medals and is sweated to the medal.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 09 Aug 2008 19:03, edited 1 time in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:19

1843 – Gwalior Star

Image

Date Instituted: 1843.

Campaign: Gwalior 1843.

Description: Six-pointed star of bronze but with a silver centre bearing the name of the battle (MAHARAJPOOR or PUNNIAR) for which it is awarded and the date '29th DEC 1843'. The reverse is plain except for a pin used to attach the star to clothing. However many were later converted to take a ribbon (attached via a metal ring or one of a variety of privately fitted suspenders) in order for the star to be worn in the same manner as other medals.

Comments: This star is made from the bronze of guns captured during the two battles of Maharajpoor and Punniar of the Gwalior campaign. Presented by the Indian government to all ranks the original issues were made with hooks on the reverse to wear the star on the breast but rings or suspenders were later fitted by recipients to allow wear in keeping with other medals.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 09 Aug 2008 19:06, edited 1 time in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:19

1846 Sutlej Medal


Clasps:

Ferozeshuhur
Aliwal
Sobraon

Overview:

The Sutlej Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1846, for issue to officers and men of the British Army and Honourable East India Company who served in the Sutlej campaign of 1845-46 (also known as the First Anglo-Sikh War). This medal was the first to use clasps to denote soldiers who fought in the major battles of the campaign.

The medal was approved on 17 April 1846, authorised for all who served in the Punjab between 7th September 1848 and 14th March 1849. Three clasps were authorised, although no medals were awarded with all three clasps. No unit qualified for both the clasps Mooltan and Chilianwala. The medal was issued without a clasp to those units that were present in the Punjab but did not take part in fighting.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:20

1847 (Action between 1793-1840) - Naval General Service Medal

Image

Clasps (NOT ALL OF THEM, LOL):

Some of the most notable actions include:

1 June 1794,
14 March 1795,
23 June 1795,
St Vincent,
Camperdown,
Nile,
12 October 1798,
Egypt,
Copenhagen,
Gut of Gibraltar,
Trafalgar,
4 Novr 1805,
St Domingo,
Martinique,
Basque Roads,
Guadaloupe,
Java,
St Sebastian,
Algiers,
Navarino,
Syria.

Unissued Clasps:

Carysfort 29 May 1794,
Mosquito 9 June 1795,
Telegraph 18 March 1799,
Wolverine 13 Sepr 1799,
Beaver 31 March 1804,
Ann 24 Novr 1807,
Thistle 10 Feby 1810,
Arrow 6 April 1811,
19 April Boat Service 1807,
25 July Boat Service 1809,

Overview:

The Naval General Service Medal (NGSM) was a campaign medal approved in 1847, for issue to officers and men of the Royal Navy.

The NGSM was retrospectively awarded for various naval actions during the period 1793 to 1840, a period including the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Anglo-American War of 1812. Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon; 231 were sanctioned (although the maximum awarded to one man was seven). The medal covered a variety of actions, from ship to ship skirmishes all the way to major fleet actions such as the Battle of Trafalgar. The medal was never issued without a clasp.

A point to note is that the medal was only awarded to surviving claimants; one had both to have survived until 1847 and then to actively apply for it. A combination of factors, from general illiteracy to limited publicity for the new medal meant that very many did not. There are substantially fewer medals issued when compared with the number of men who served during this period; frequently the number of claimants for individual clasps was reckoned in single figures - for ten clasps, there were no claimants. 20,933 medals were awarded in total - most with a single clasp.

The final date for submitting claims was 1 May 1851. The medal was awarded only to surviving claimants; next of kin could not apply for a medal on behalf of a deceased relative. However, the medal was awarded to next of kin of those claimants who had died between the date of their application and the date of presentation.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 17 Jul 2008 11:23, edited 1 time in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:22

1847 (Actions between 1793-1814) – Military General Service Medal (MGSM)

Image

Clasps:

Egypt,
Maida,
Roleia,
Vimiera,
Sahagun,
Benevente,
Sahagun and Benevente,
Corunna,
Martinique,
Talavera,
Guadaloupe,
Busaco,
Barrosa,
Fuentes D'Onor,
Albuhera,
Java,
Ciudad Rodrigo,
Badajoz,
Salamanca,
Fort Detroit,
Chateauguay,
Chrysler's Farm,
Vittoria,
Pyrenees,
St Sebastien,
Nivelle,
Nive,
Orthes,
Toulouse.

Overview:

The Military General Service Medal (MGSM) was a campaign medal approved in 1847, for issue to officers and men of the British Army.

The MGSM was approved on 1 June 1847 as a retrospective award for various military actions from 1793 to 1814; a period encompassing the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Anglo-American War of 1812. Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon; twenty-nine were sanctioned the maximum awarded to one man was fifteen. The medal was never issued without a clasp.

A point to note is that the medal was only awarded to surviving claimants; one had both to have survived until 1847 and then to actively apply for it. A combination of factors, from general illiteracy to limited publicity for the new medal meant that many did not. There are substantially fewer medals issued compared with the number of men who served during this period.

The medal was awarded only to surviving claimants; next of kin could not apply for a medal on behalf of a deceased relative. However, the medal was awarded to next of kin of those claimants who had died between the date of their application and the date of presentation. There were some 25,650 applications in total.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 17 Jul 2008 11:23, edited 1 time in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:22

1849 – Punjab Medal

Clasps:

Mooltan; 7 September 1848 - 22 January 1849. Awarded to troops engaged in the siege of Multan.

Chilianwala; 13 January 1849. Awarded to troops under the command of Lord Gough who defeated the Sikh army of Sher Singh and Lal Singh near Chilianwala.

Goojerat; 21 February 1849. Awarded to troops under the command of Lord Gough who defeated the Sikh army of Sher Singh at Gujerat.

Overview:

The Punjab Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1849, for issue to officers and men of the British Army and Honourable East India Company who served in the Punjab campaign of 1848-49 - operations which ended in the British annexation of the Punjab.

The medal was approved on 2nd April 1849, authorised for all who served in the Punjab between 7th September 1848 and 14th March 1849. Three clasps were authorised, although no medals were awarded with all three clasps. No unit qualified for both the clasps Mooltan and Chilianwala. The medal was issued without a clasp to those units that were present in the Punjab but did not take part in fighting.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:23

1851 – Army of India Medal

Clasps:

Allighur
Battle of Delhi
Assye
Asseerghur
Laswarree
Argaum
Gawilghur
Defence of Delhi
Battle of Deig
Capture of Deig
Nepaul
Khadki
Poona
Khadki and Poona
Seetabuldee
Nagpore
Seetabuldee and Nagpore
Maheidpoor
Corygaum
Ava
Bhurtpoor

Overview:

The Army of India Medal (AIM) was a campaign medal approved in 1851, for issue to officers and men of the British Army and Honourable East India Company.

The AIM approved on 21 March 1851 as a retrospective award by the East India Company to survivors of various actions during the period 1803 to 1826. This period encompassed four wars: the Second Mahratta War (1803-4), the Gurkha War (1814-16), the Pindaree or Third Mahratta War (1817-18), and the First Burmese War (1824-26). Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon; twenty-one were sanctioned (although the maximum awarded to one man was seven). The medal was never issued without a clasp.

A point to note is that the medal was only awarded to survivors. There are substantially fewer medals issued when compared with the number of men who served during this period. This was largely due to the extreme lapse of time between the wars commemorated and the issue of the medal - forty-eight years had passed between the first battle commemerated, Allighur, and the date of issue. Some 4500 medals were awarded in total - most with a single clasp.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:23

1854 - South Africa Medal

Clasps: NONE

Overview:

The South Africa Medal (1854 SAM) was a campaign medal approved in 1854, for issue to officers and men of the Royal Navy and British Army.

The 1854 SAM was awarded to participants in three campaigns in Southern Africa: the "Kaffir" or "Frontier" Wars of 1834–5 (First Kaffir War, also known as the Sixth Frontier War), 1846–7 (Second Kaffir, Seventh Frontier), and 1850–3 (Third Kaffir, Eighth Frontier).

No clasps were issued, therefore it is not immediately possible to determine which war(s) any particular medal was awarded for (reference must be made to the appropriate medal rolls).

This medal was notably awarded to the officers and men of HMS Birkenhead. On 26 February 1852, during the course of the Third Kaffir/Eighth Frontier War, this ship struck rocks. Within 25 minutes, the ship broke up and sank. Of the 638 persons on board, there were only 193 survivors.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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Re: Medals of the Victorian Period - A Basic Intro'

Postby Unknownsoldier » 16 Jul 2008 20:24

1854 – India General Service Medal

Image

Clasps:

Pegu
Persia
North West Frontier
Umbeyla
Bhootan
Looshai
Perak
Jowaki 1877-78
Naga 1879-80
Burma 1885-87
Sikkim 1888
Hazara 1888
Burma 1887-89
Burma 1887-9
Chin Lushai 1889-90
Lushai 1889-92
Samana 1891
Hazara 1891
NE Frontier 1891
Hunza 1891
Burma 1889-92
Chin Hills 1892-93
Kachin Hills 1892-93
Waziristan 1894-95

Overview:

The Indian General Service Medal (1854 IGSM) was a campaign medal approved in 1854, for issue to officers and men of the British and Indian armies.

The 1854 IGSM was approved on 1 March 1854. It was awarded for various minor military campaigns in India, during 1852 to 1895. Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon; 24 were sanctioned, the maximum awarded to one man is thought to be seven. The medal was never issued without a clasp.

The medal was initially awarded in silver to all ranks, regardless of race or branch of service. However starting from 1885 (with the Burma 1885-7 bar) both medal and clasp were issued in bronze to native support personnel such as bearers, sweepers, and drivers.
Last edited by Unknownsoldier on 17 Jul 2008 11:22, edited 1 time in total.
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY OF A BRITISH WARRIOR UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND. THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD HIS HOUSE.
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