Arctic Medal British General Service Medal of 1818

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British
Naval General Service

Arctic
Medal 1818

 

 

 

One
of only 1486 issued

Date
Instituted:
1857.

CAMPAIGN:
Polar expeditions 1818-1855.

DESCRIPTION
of this MEDAL:
 Octagonal shaped medal bearing the head of Queen Victoria on the obverse with the inscription
‘VICTORIA REGINA’ while the reverse depicts a three masted ice bound sailing ship within the polar region with a sledge party
in the foreground. Above the ship are the words ‘FOR ARCTIC DISCOVERIES’ while the dates ‘1818-1855’ appear in the exergue
below. The suspender takes the form of a polar star with a metal ring attached on top to take the ribbon.

Metal:
Silver.         
Size: 46mm high and 33mm wide.
Clasps: Non authorized for this medal.

Ribbon:
White.

Naming: Issued
un-named but many were privately engraved.

 

NAVAL GENERAL
SERVICE MEDAL – ARCTIC:
 
Instituted in 1857, this medal was awarded
to some 1,486 recipients who took part in the various polar expeditions between 1818-56. Recipients included civilians, scientists,
French and US naval personnel as well as 1,106 members of the Royal Navy.

 

 

 

    Obverse of Arctic Medal
   Reverse of Arctic Service
Medal

CONDITION:  The
back of the ribbon has been glued to paper board and then to purple cloth, the remnants of which are present. These medals
were issued without a hanging device and unnamed. The medal is in fine condition with a few tiny nicks front and back which
are not of consequence.  Otherwise the medal is in Very Fine condition showing handeling and has a nice patina of age.

The British Arctic Medal
is very rare and was unnamed when issued. It was a
warded
to all officers and men engaged in expeditions to the Polar Regions from 1818 to 1855. This included men involved in the on-going
search for the ill-fated Franklin Expedition of 1845-48. The medal
was awarded to civilians, scientists, and personnel of the French and U.S. Navies and employees of The Hudson’s Bay
Company who took part in a number of abortive search parties for Sir John Franklin and his crew.  Only 1,106 medals
out of 1,486 in all were awarded to Officers and ratings of The Royal Navy.

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