Second China War Medal

The Second China War Medal was issued by the British Government in 1861 to members of the British and Indian armies and Royal Navy who took part in the Second Opium War of 1857 to 1860 against China.[1] The medal was designed by William Wyon.[2]

Second China War Medal
Second China War Medal 1857-60.jpg
Obverse and reverse of medal.
TypeCampaign medal
Awarded forCampaign service.
DescriptionSilver disk, 36mm diameter.
Presented byUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
EligibilityBritish forces.
Campaign(s)Second Opium War 1857-60
ClaspsChina 1842
Fatshan 1857
Canton 1857
Taku Forts 1858
Taku Forts 1860
Pekin 1860
Established6 March 1861
Second China War Medal Ribbon.png
Ribbon: 32mm crimson ribbon with yellow edges
British China Medal 1857-60 proposed ribbon.png
Proposed ribbon, not finally adopted

The medal's obverse shows the diademed head of Queen Victoria with the legend ‘VICTORIA REGINA’. The reverse has the same shield bearing the Royal Arms, with a palm tree and trophy of arms behind, as found on the First China War Medal with the inscription ‘ARMIS EXPOSCERE PACIM’ above and the word ‘CHINA’ in the exergue below. The suspender is the same as that used on the Indian Mutiny Medal.[3]

The medal was issued with the following clasps:[2]

The medal could also be awarded without a clasp.[1]

The 32 mm ribbon is crimson with yellow edges. The original design had five equal stripes of blue, yellow, red, white and green, edged with red, representing the colours of the Qing dynasty flag, but this ribbon was not finally adopted.[1]
The medals are named in indented Roman capitals for the Army, while members of the Royal Marines and Royal Navy were usually issued with unnamed medals.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Joslin, Litherland and Simpkin. British Battles and Medals. pp. 141–2. Published Spink, London. 1988.
  2. ^ a b "The China Medal Roll British Navy & Army".
  3. ^ a b [1] Second China War Medal on the Royal Engineers website

External linksEdit