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RUSI of NSW

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    Army Museum of NSW - Medals of the Month


Medals of the Month - August and September 2021

Military General Service Medal awarded to Drummer John Pearce of the 11th Regiment of Foot (The North Devonshire Regiment).

The Military General Service Medal was awarded for service in the British Army during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793-1814). The medal was only awarded to men who had served during that period and who were still living in 1847 when the medal was authorised.

The reverse side of the medal shows a standing figure of Queen Victoria bestowing victor's laurels on a kneeling Duke of Wellington. The words "TO THE BRITISH ARMY" are also inscribed on the medal.

Ribbon: 31mm crimson edged with dark blue.

Medal Maker: Unknown Metal: Silver

In order to quell drunkenness and to save money (3,000 pounds a year), rum ceased to be issued free of charge to troops in NSW in 1844. Because of this and other grievances over food and allowances, the 99th (Lanarkshire) Regiment of Foot in Sydney and the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot in Parramatta refused to obey orders and it took nine days for them to return to barracks.

The Governor of New South Wales (Major Sir George Gipps) and the commanding general (Lieutenant General Sir Maurice O'Connell) were so concerned about the insurrection that in 1845 the 11th Regiment of Foot consisting of 300 men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Bloomfield sailed from Hobart in Van Diemen's Land to Sydney to restore discipline.

The insurrection ended peacefully and the 11th returned to Van Diemen's Land but came back temporarily to Sydney in 1846 to again restore discipline.

Disembarking at Sydney Cove for the third time, on 5 August 1848, the 11th Regiment marched the same day to Paddington Hill and became the first troops to garrison the newly completed Victoria Barracks.

Images of Private John White and his New Zealand War Medal.

Private White served in both the 49th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) (Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot and the 50th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot.

The 50th Regiment arrived in Sydney from New Zealand in 1867 after four years of heavy fighting in the North Island during the Second (Taranaki) Māori War. The regiment departed Australia for England in 1869.

The New Zealand War Medal was authorised in 1869 and only issued to surviving veterans.

This medal was unusual in having the recipient's dates of service die-struck on the centre of the reverse side, though medals were also issued without dates. The reverse side also carries the words NEW ZEALAND and VIRTUTIS HONOR (Honour of Valour).

Ribbon: Blue with a central orange stripe.

Portrait: Photographer unknown

Medal Maker: Unknown Metal: Silver

Lest We Forget

Members of the public are most welcome to visit the Australian Army Museum of New South Wales to see these medals and many other interesting objects. Please click here for visiting arrangements.


Use the dropdown to your right then select "GO" to view the medals from past months.


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