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 were lost at sea, some troops were issued with the Sardinian version instead. The Crimea medal was also presented to certain members of allied French forces.
Obverse and reverse of the medal.
|Awarded for||Campaign service.|
|Description||Silver disk, 36mm diameter.|
|Presented by||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland|
|Established||15 December 1854|
|Related||Turkish Crimea Medal|
The 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 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 as for 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 11 September 1854 to 9 September 1855.
Anyone who received the Balaklava or Inkerman clasps was also awarded this bar.
- 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 and Azoff on 2 May 1856. No person received more than four clasps.
Unofficial French Clasps:
Due to the unique look of the medal, there have been a few influences based on the design.
The suspender and the clasp of the Crimea Medal has been used in 2020 as inspiration for the Australian Cadet Service Medal awarded to Australian Defence Force cadets (ADFC) for service to communities. As of March 16th, 2020, this medal is undergoing approval by the ADFC but is currently awarded unofficially to cadets as going away gifts.
This design also influenced many Japanese military medals during the late 1800s to mid 1900s. In almost all cases the suspension is closely based on the Crimea medal. Some of the medals using this design include:
- 1874 Formosa Expedition War Medal
- Taisho Enthronement Commemorative Medal 1915
- Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin 1988, p. 128. sfn error: no target: CITEREFJoslin,_Litherland,_and_Simpkin1988 (help)
- Christodoulou , Glenn, Medals of the Crimean War - Crimean War Research Society (1985)
- Medals and Their History, W. A. Steward 1915, page 152
- The Crimean War Medal
- "London Gazette 2 May 1856, page 1629". Retrieved 16 September 2017.
- Ribbons and Medals by Captain H. Taprell Dorling, page 64
- "CadetNet". Cadet Net. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
- Martin, Theodore (1877). The Life of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, Volume III, page 181. Smith Elder & Co, London.
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- Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin (eds) - British Battles and Medals, (1988), Spink.
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- Taprell Dorling, Captain H. - Ribbons and Medals, (1956), A.H.Baldwin & Sons, London.
- The Crimean War Medal by Mike Hargreave Mawson
- Illustrated Identification Guide to Crimean War Medals
- "The King's Own Royal Regiment Museum, (Lancaster), Crimea Medal". www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com.