A Birchall Group from the Crimean War

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere is one of my family groups, the earliest one I have, comprising the Crimean War Campaign medal with the Sevastopol Bar impressed to J.Birchall, 56th Regiment. The accompanying Turkish Crimean Medal is a Sardinian example and is unnamed.

The Crimea Medal was a campaign medal approved in 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 is notable for its extremely ornate clasps, being in the form of an oak leaf with an acorn at each extremity, a style never again used on a British medal. The suspension is an ornate floriated swivelling suspender, again unique to the Crimea Medal.

Five bars were authorised, the maximum awarded to one man was four. The medal was issued without a clasp to those who were present in the Crimea, but not present at any of the qualifying actions. A five bar specimen is held in the Royal Collection.

This medal was also presented to certain members of allied French forces. These medals, in addition to the five British clasps, were often issued with unauthorised French bars; Traktir, Tchernaia, Mer d’Azoff, and Malakof.

The medal was awarded with the British version of the Turkish Crimean War medal, but when a consignment of these were lost at sea some troops were issued with the Sardinian version instead.

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