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Great Britain 1854 Crimea Medal...the more things change...


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This is a bit off my usual recent collecting interests, but militaria is something I've been interested in since I was a kid - in 4th grade I bought a US World War I helmet off my teacher for five bucks - which was a tremendous amount of money for me back then.  I still have it - and as investments go, not too bad, even adjusted for inflation.  

Anyway, I've long been interested in British campaign medals, but anything pre-World War I always seemed too expensive to me.  But early this week, I visited my local coin dealer and saw he had a British Crimea medal, and since I was armed with a gift certificate, I bought it.  From what I can tell, $85.00 isn't too bad for one of these.  The condition is decent - a few rim dings, and a dark toning that probably came about from being in a paper envelope for fifty or a hundred years or so (I think it is .925 sterling silver).  It even has an ancient Roman design - Victory still crowning soldiers after 2000 years.  

When I got home, I was happy to see the edge had been engraved, so the medal was "named" to a particular soldier.  I found Patrick Flynn's war record online, as noted in my flip information above, but I hit a paywall and wasn't able to get much, although chances are a squadie such as him didn't get much information recorded.   That the Crimea is still being fought over is depressing (or alarming, depending on the day's news).  

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Crimea Medal 1854 VICTORIA REGINA, diademed head of Queen Victoria left, W. WYON RA on bust truncation, 1854 belowRoman warrior standing front, head right, holding sword and shield, being crowned to right by flying winged Victory holding palm, CRIMEA vertically in left field, B. WYON SC  along rim at 4 o'clock  

Bar:  SEBASTAPOL on oak leaf, acorns at both ends, on swiveling suspender.

Edge:  P. FLYNN. No 3332.39 REGT

(39.00 grams / 36 mm (medal)) AZ November 1, 2022

Notes:  Patrick Flynn, 39th Regiment of Foot found on Forces War Records site (paywall, so no other information).  Edge type seems to match this one:  "Regimentally Impressed - various different letter dies were used. Patterns emerge to some units/regiments."  www.onlinemedals.co.uk/medal-encyclopaedia/pre-ww1-medals/crimea-medal

There's quite a bit of information out there on these, so I'll toss out some of my research here.  I an effort to not overwhelm the thread, I will resist quoting "The Charge of the Light Brigade":  

"The Crimea Medal was a campaign medal approved on 15 December 1854, for issue to officers and men of British units (land and naval) which fought in the Crimean War of 1854–56 against Russia. The medal was awarded with the British version of the Turkish Crimea Medal, but when a consignment of these was lost at sea, some troops received the Sardinian version.

The medal consists of a 36 millimetres (1.4 in) silver disc with, on the obverse, the diademed head of Queen Victoria and the legend VICTORIA REGINA with the date 1854 below.  The reverse has a depiction of a standing Roman warrior about to receive a laurel crown from a flying figure of victory, the word CRIMEA appearing on the left. The medal is notable for its unusually ornate clasps. Each is in the form of an oak leaf with an acorn at each end, a style not used on any other British medal. The ornate, floriated, swivelling suspender is also unique to the Crimea Medal.  The 27 millimetres (1.1 in) wide ribbon is pale blue with yellow edges.  Most medals were awarded unnamed, but could be returned for naming free of charge – impressed on the rim in block Roman capitals, in the same style as the Military General Service Medal – while some recipients had their medals privately engraved.

 Five clasps were authorised: 

Alma – for the battle of 20 September 1854.

Balaklava – for the battle of 25 October 1854.

Inkerman – for the battle of 5 November 1854.

Sebastopol – for the siege that lasted from 11September 1854 to 9 September 1855.Anyone who received the Balaklava or Inkerman clasps was also awarded this clasp.

Azoff – for the Naval expedition in the Sea of Azoff from 25 May to 22 September 1855. It was awarded only to Royal Navy personnel.

 The Alma and Inkerman clasps were authorised in December 1854 at the same time as the medal, with that for Balaklava on 23 February 1855, Sebastopol on 13 October 1855[1] and Azoff on 2 May 1856.  No person received more than four clasps.

 The medal was awarded to the next of kin of those who died during the campaign.

 Troops who landed in the Crimea after 9 September 1855, the day Sebastopol fell, did not receive the medal unless they had been engaged against the enemy after that date.

 The medal was issued to Turkish, and to a limited number of French forces who served in the Crimea, unofficial French clasps being sometimes added in addition to the British clasps..."   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea_Medal

As for the medal's original owner, Patrick Flynn, here is a bit about his regiment:  

"The 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment of Foot was an infantry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1702. Under the ChildersReforms it amalgamated with the 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot to form the Dorsetshire Regiment in 1881.

The regiment arrived in the British colony of New South Wales toward theend of 1825[30] and saw service guarding convicts and establishing settlements at Hobart, Sydney, Swan River Colony and Bathurst beforeleaving for India in July 1832.[31] It saw action at various skirmishes in spring 1834 during the Coorg War[32] and at the Battle of Maharajpore in December 1843 during the Gwalior Campaign.[33] It embarked for the Crimea in spring 1854 and saw action at the Siege ofSevastopol in winter 1854 before returning to Canada in 1856 and moving on to Bermuda in 1859; it returned to England in 1864 and was posted back to India in 1869.[34]As part of the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, where single-battalion regiments were linked together to share a single depot and recruiting district in the United Kingdom, the 39th was linked with the 75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment of Foot, and assigned to district no. 39 at Dorchester Barracks in Dorchester.[35] On 1 July 1881 the Childers Reforms came into effect and the regiment amalgamated with the 54th (West Norfolk) Regiment of Foot to form the Dorsetshire Regiment."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/39th_(Dorsetshire)_Regiment_of_Foot

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Feel free to share your UK military medals.  God Save the Queen...er, I mean King.  

 

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Very impressive! I'm afraid that despite having a fairly large collection of British historical and commemorative medals (none of them issued in connection with the Crimean War, unfortunately), I have no UK military medals. The only military medals I have of any kind are my father's World War II Good Conduct medal from the USA, and my maternal grandfather's World War I German Honour Cross with Swords (commonly known as the Hindenburg Medal) and wound badge.

Edited by DonnaML
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2 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Very impressive! I'm afraid that despite having a fairly large collection of British historical and commemorative medals (none of them issued in connection with the Crimean War, unfortunately), I have no UK military medals. The only military medals I have of any kind are my father's World War II Good Conduct medal from the USA, and my maternal grandfather's World War I German Honour Cross with Swords (commonly known as the Hindenburg Medal) and wound badge.

If you have photos handy, Donna, feel free to post those medals on this thread if you'd like.  I've got a hodge-podge of medals from over the years, but nothing from my ancestors, unfortunately.  Unless you count my dad's Purple Heart - he did not earn it, but he did save it...

Here's the story behind the saddest medal I have - a World War II Purple Heart in its case.  My dad gave it to me when I was a kid in the 1970s.  At the time he was a Trust Officer at a local bank (long since conglomerated out of business).  One of the people whose trust he was handling died - his heirs lined up for the money but wanted nothing to do with his personal stuff.  The head of the Trust Dept. knew my dad had a kid (me) who liked old stuff, so he walked it into dad's office and dropped it in the wastebasket!  This was not out of disrespect, but because according to bank policy, a Trust Officer cannot take any part of a trust they are handling.  However, if the item has been discarded, it was okay to take - the wastebasket was banking formality.  Dad rather detested banking and soon after started a manufacturing firm he ran for the next 25+ years...(Dad did serve, but was not in combat - was in the US Army, 1st Division, the Big Red One, from 1957-1959; he was still in the Reserves when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred and because they thought he might get called up for nuclear Armageddon, he and my mom decided to move up their wedding date.  Lucky for me they did - I was the result!  Talk about historical accidents! 😁).  

Anyway, here's the Purple Heart my dad rescued.  Someday I hope to find the next generation descendants of the original owner who might appreciate it and return it to them.  Meanwhile, I'm keeping it safe: 

2076321875_PurpleHeartdadgavemec.1976(0).jpg.adadf8af126d54fb138495816b434ae2.jpg

 

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