10 January 2011

Turkish Crimea Medal


The Sultan of Turkey issued medals to the British, French and Sardinian troops who had taken part in the war, each nation having its own issue. Ultimately however, the medals were issued haphazardly, due in no small part to the loss of a large number of British version medals when the ship carrying them, sank. It is thus commonplace to see Sardinian and French versions of the Turkish Crimea Medal issued to British troops.

36mm diameter silver medal. The obverse portrays a map of the Crimea draped over the wheel of a cannon that is resting on the Russian flag. Four allied flags flutter in the background.

On the British version (top of the page), the Union Jack flies second from right and CRIMEA 1855 appears in the exergue.

On the French version, the Tricolour flies second from right and LA CRIMEE 1855 appears in the exergue.

On the Sardinian version, the Sardinian flag flies second from right and LA CRIMEA 1855 appears in the exergue.

The reverse of the medal shows the Sultan's cypher enclosed within a laurel wreath. CRIMEA appears in Turkish script along with the year (in the Muslim calendar) 1271 A H (1855 AD).

Watered crimson with green edges. The original ribbon was 18mm wide but the suspension was often altered so that a wider ribbon could be accommodated.

The original suspension was simply a small ring through which the ribbon was passed. However, many of these rings were replaced with a suspender similar to that of the Crimea War Medal or Indian medals.

Medals were originally issued unnamed although many of the recipients had these privately named.


The French issue medal commands the highest prices and is also the only medal of the three for which there is no known miniature.

British version image courtesy of Spink. British Battles and Medals and The Medal Yearbook (Token Publishing Ltd) have been invaluable in putting together the information.

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