It has been over 4 years since I wrote about the Royal Navy’s Narrow Suspender Long Service & Good Conduct medal introduced in 1875. As that blog stated, some of those medals still had the years of service engraved on the edge. On 5 March 1877 a medal naming contract was awarded to a Mr Pinches, who had quoted sixpence per medal compared to Messrs Hunt & Roskill who were charging twice that for the hand engraved ones. Those impressed medals on rare occasions have the service years impressed upon the rim. But the vast majority of the hundreds being rewarded were issued without years regardless of if the sailor or marine had served the once mandatory 20 years or longer. Hundreds were being rewarded, engraved or impressed, to men who had served between 10 & 20 years. The last known medal with years on the edge was issued in October 1878, and from then on all medals were impressed – name, rate, and ship (or Marine Division, or H.M. Coast Guard), with no mention of the years served.
The above two examples show a medal to Thomas Bunce issued in 1881, showing the letters at the time being heavier and thicker, when compared to the medal to William Dart issued in 1895 by which time the lettering had become thinner with even thickness of all parts of the letter.
The OMSA database for RN/RM LSGC medals will now also include known impressed and engraved extant medals. The possible catagories are as follows:
ANCHOR – near complete roll by Douglas Morris with extant medals marked as such
WIDE – near complete roll by Douglas Morris, with extant medals marked as such
1848 – select 100 WIDE medals with 1848 under the bust of Queen Victoria, extant medals marked as such
NARR YRS – 1875-1877 extant engraved narrow suspender with years on the edge
IMP YRS – 1877-1878 extant impressed narrow suspender with years on edge
ENGRAVED – 1875-1877 extant engraved medals with out years on the edge
IMPRESSED – 1877-1903 extant impressed medals with out years on the edge
The addition of almost 1700 extant ENGRAVED and IMPRESSED medals is with thanks to David Morris for providing me his list of Victorian narrow suspender LSGC medals (RN only) he has recorded over the many years he has collected. His listing does not give date of issue, and only indicates if it was a single medal or within a group (inclusive of pair). As time goes by, I will try to add date of issue and further medal details. As with all databases this is a work in progress, and will evolve as medals are discovered and time permits.