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was sent into Scotland to consult Cromwell upon the design furnished by the Committee for the army. *
However, the practice of bestowing honorary distinctions for services in the many naval and military operations of our country is but of recent date. It is only a few years since a general order was granted for the distribution of medals to those surviving officers and men of both services who took part in the long protracted wars between this country and France, America and the hostile nations of India-from the declaration of war with France, in 1793, to the triumphal entry of Wellington into Toulouse, April 12th, 1814, and the siege and storming of Bhurtpore, January, 1826.
This extraordinary delay, or unpardonable neglect, on the part of those high in authority, caused no little disappointment among those who considered that they should be the recipients of some distinguishing badge or order of merit, to be worn not only in commemoration of gallant achievements, but as a reward for their faithful and long professional services.
It is well known-for much publicity was given to the factthat the "old Peninsular Men," the heroes of Assaye and Laswarree, and the gallant tars who fought at St. Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar, had no medals. Every likely opportunity was made use of to stimulate a tardy Government. The accession of William IV, for example, brought forth a plentiful correspondence. It was recommended that "The army and navy should unite and humbly and respectfully request one of the royal dukes to solicit from "His Most Gracious Majesty a boon for both services at the beginning of the reign; that he would bestow an order of "merit upon all officers and men who have fought the battles
Col. Mac Kinnon, in his Origin and Services of the Coldstream Guards, speaks of the medal as having been struck in gold. He says" Parliament voted "the officers and men which did this excellent service should be presented with "gold and silver medals."
"of their country." The writer goes on to say-“It is very "vexatious to honourable feelings, when we go into society "at home and abroad, to meet foreigners of nearly all nations "covered with medals and orders, when we, who have had the "pleasure of licking them in every part of the world, have "neither orders nor medals."
The seven years of King William's reign passed away; the ranks of those old warriors, the survivors of a hundred fights, gave way before the irresistible march of Time; they who had so successfully contended with the combined fleets of France and Spain, who had upheld the supremacy of British arms in the East, and taught Napoleon's marshals so terrible a lesson, had at last to yield to the universal conqueror, with no mark of their glorious services, except the honourable scars obtained by their own bravery on the field of battle.
It was not until the 1st of June, 1847 (the date of the general order), that Her Most Gracious Majesty granted silver medals, with clasps for the victories enumerated on the opposite page.
The clasp for the war in Egypt, ending 1801, was not included in the general order of the 1st June, 1847; but was afterwards granted under an order dated 12th February, 1850, to those who were still alive and had served with the army in that war.
The medal was struck from a design by W. Wyon, R.A., and represents Her Majesty in the act of crowning, with a victor's wreath of laurel, Field-marshal Wellington, who kneels before her. The legend is-"TO THE BRITISH ARMY;" and in the exergue, 1793-1814. The obverse is a beautiful and well designed diademed head of Victoria; underneath is the year 1848, the date of issue; the legend reads"VICTORIA REGINA." It is worn with a crimson ribbon, edged with blue. The medals vary only in the clasps or bars attached, and are to be found with from one to fourteen to
(Attack and capture.)
Date of Battle.
July 4, 1806
July 27 and 28, 1809
- January and February, 1810
September 27, 1820
· March 5, 1811 May 5, 1811
May 16, 1811
(Attack and capture.)
14. Ciudad Rodrigo - Spain
- Lord Wellington-
- January and February, 1812 - Lord Wellington
March 11 and April 16, 1812- Lord Wellington
(Assault and capture.)
(Assault and capture.)
17. Fort Detroit
20. San Sebastian
(Assault and capture.)
23. Chrystler's Farm
- Major-Gen. Brock
- Major-Gen. De Wattville
- Lt.-Col. Morrison
Generals Hill and Beresford
Sir Ralph Abercrombie
each medal, according to the number the recipient was entitled to, whose name and regiment are indented on the edge.
As regards the rarity of the Peninsular medal a few words may be added. It is very difficult to meet with medals having more than eight or nine bars; and should any of those have on them inscribed what may be denominated, "rare "actions," the value of the medal is greatly enhanced. Fort Detroit, Chateauguay, Chrystler's Farm-all North American achievements are extremely rare, as also is the clasp for the cavalry actions of Sahagun and Benevente, in the Peninsula. The bars for Egypt, Maida, Martinique, Guadaloupe and Java are also scarce; the rest are not uncommon.
WATERLOO will be for ever associated with the name of Wellington; it ended a war which was a series of victories to British arms, and exalted him to high rank and honour. It was the beginning of a lasting peace which brought prosperity to England and yielded many years of enjoyment to the victorious general.
It was at the suggestion of the great Duke that silver medals were awarded to every officer, non-commissioned officer and soldier who was present in the field during the 16th, 17th and 18th days of June, 1815.
In the London Gazette of the 23rd April, 1816, the following notification appeared :
"Horse Guards, March 10, 1816. "The Prince Regent has been graciously pleased, in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, to command that in commemoration of "the brilliant and decisive victory of Waterloo, a medal shall be "conferred upon every officer, non-commissioned officer and soldier, "present upon that memorable occasion.
"His Royal Highness has further been pleased to command, that "the ribband issued with the medal shall never be worn but with the "medal suspended to it."
By command of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent,
The obverse of this medal is a laureated head of H.R.H. the Prince Regent, with the legend-" GEORGE P. REGENT." The reverse is a figure of Victory, seated; holding in her right hand a palm branch and in her left a sprig of oliveemblems of the victorious achievement and the peace which followed underneath is inscribed the word "WATERLOO;" and in the exergue "JUNE 18, 1815;" above is the immortal name of WELLINGTON.
The Waterloo medal is worn with a crimson ribbon, edged with blue-precisely the same as that worn with the Peninsular medal, but broader.
We now come to an exceedingly interesting series of medals, awarded for services in India, from the war with Tippoo Sultan to the Sepoy mutiny, 1857-58, including the campaign in Persia, 1857.
Hyder Ali's death and the subsequent treaty of peace with his son Tippoo Saib, in 1784, terminated a prolonged and harassing war. It appears that the supreme Government at Calcutta was not long in awarding a medallic badge: for in the same year we find that the Company's troops received a silver medal in commemoration of good service. The reverse has inscribed, in the Persian language-"Presented by the "Calcutta Government, in memory of good service and intrepid valour, A.D. 1784. Mohammedan Era, 1199." The legend, which is also Persian, may be rendered into English thus: "Like the coin, may it endure long in the world; and "the exertions of those lion-hearted Englishmen of great
name, victorious from Hindostan to the Deccan, become exalted." The obverse of the medal represents Britannia seated, holding forth a wreath towards a fortress which is in the distance.*
The readers of Indian military history must be familiar
Of these medals there are two sizes, the larger having been awarded to officers only.