Crimea Medal
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Crimea Medal
Crimea Medal
Medaille de crimee.jpg
Obverse and reverse of the medal.
TypeCampaign medal
Awarded forCampaign service.
DescriptionSilver disk, 36mm diameter.
Presented by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
EligibilityBritish forces.
Campaign(s)Crimean War.
Established15 December 1854
Crimea Medal BAR.svg
Ribbon: 27mm, pale blue with yellow edges.
RelatedTurkish Crimea Medal
Baltic Medal
Crimea Medal with unofficial French bar 'Traktir'

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.[2] The Crimea medal was also presented to certain members of allied French forces.[1]

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.[3]


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.[2]
The 27 millimetres (1.1 in) wide ribbon[1] 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.[1]


Five clasps were authorised:[1]

  • 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.[4]
  • 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.[5] No person received more than four clasps.

The medal was issued to a limited number of allied French forces,[6] unofficial French bars being sometimes added in addition to the British clasps, including .[1]

Unofficial French Clasps:

  • Traktir - For the conflict at Traktir
  • Tchernaia - For the battle of August 16, 1855
  • Mer d'Azoff - For the Navy missions in the Sea of Azoff from 25 May to 22 November 1855.
  • Malakof - For the battle of 8 September 1855


Due to the unique look of the medal, there have been a few influences based on the design.

Russo-Japanese War medal front medal based on the Crimean medal as of 1905
Australian Cadet Service Medal, designed in 2020 by Benjamin Bishop

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 November 16th, 2020, this medal is undergoing approval by the ADFC but is currently awarded unofficially to cadets as going away gifts.[7]

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

- Medal of Honor

- 1937-45 Japanese Army China Incident War Medal

- 1931-34 China Incident War Medal

- Russo-Japanese War Medal

- Japanese Service Medals

- Taisho Enthronement Commemorative Medal 1915

See also

Cartoon from Punch magazine titled Patient Heroes. The caption reads:
Well Jack! Here's good news from home. We are going to have a medal.
That's very kind. Maybe one of these days we'll have a coat to stick it on!
In December 1854, when the medal was sanctioned, there was widespread criticism in Britain that the troops were not receiving winter supplies, including warm clothing.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin 1988, p. 128.
  2. ^ a b Christodoulou , Glenn, Medals of the Crimean War - Crimean War Research Society (1985)
  3. ^ Medals and Their History, W. A. Steward 1915, page 152
  4. ^ The Crimean War Medal
  5. ^ "London Gazette 2 May 1856, page 1629". Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Ribbons and Medals by Captain H. Taprell Dorling, page 64
  7. ^ "CadetNet". Cadet Net. 15 April 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Martin, Theodore (1877). The Life of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, Volume III, page 181. Smith Elder & Co, London.


  • Mackay, J and Mussel, J (eds) - Medals Yearbook - 2006, (2005), Token Publishing.
  • Joslin, Litherland, and Simpkin (eds) - British Battles and Medals, (1988), Spink.
  • Steward, William Augustus - Medals and Their History, (1915), Stanley Paul & Co, London.
  • Taprell Dorling, Captain H. - Ribbons and Medals, (1956), A.H.Baldwin & Sons, London.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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