24 September 2009

Canada General Service Medal

7th January 1899 and awarded to all those who qualified for the medal and were still living. An Army Order of 1906 extended the period of applying for the medal until 1st July 1907 and this was later further extended to 31st December 1928.

Awarded to members of the Imperial and Canadian forces which took part in the suppression of the Fenian Raids in 1866 and 1870, and Riels' First Rebellion, also in 1870. This latter action was also known as the Red River Rebellion or the Red River Resistance depending, presumably, upon which side of the fence you stood.

Silver, 36mm diameter, with a plain, straight swivel suspender. The obverse portrays the veiled bust of Queen Victoria with the legend VICTORIA REGINA ET IMPERATRIX. The reverse depicts the Canadian flag surrounded by a wreath of maple leafs. The word CANADA appears above.

The obverse on the medal was designed by Thomas Brock (1847-1922) and the reverse by George William de Saulles (1862-1903). Thomas Brock was a prolific English sculptor, probably best known for the Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria situated in front of Buckingham Palace. He was knighted in 1911. George de Saulles (1862-1903) was, as Chief Engraver, responsible for official medals between 1894 and 1902.

Three equal stripes of red, white and red.

Several different naming types are to be found. Medals issued to English Regiments (approximately 820) were impressed in capitals or engraved. Medals issued to Canadian recipients are to be found in large indented block capitals, indented lower case letters and - for the most part for those awarded to Naval recipients - engraved in large or small capitals.

Three clasps were awarded: Fenian Raid 1866, Fenian Raid 1870, and Red River 1870. The medal was always issued with a clasp. Four different dies were used for the 1866 clasp, five for the 1870 clasp and three for the Red River clasp.

The photograph is taken from the Spink & Son July 2009 auction catalogue whilst British Battles and Medals has been invaluable in putting together the information.

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