Description: The obverse of this medal bears the effigy of the Prince Regeant with the inscription 'GEORGE P. REGENT'. while the reverse depicts the seated figure of Victory with the words 'WELLINGTON' and 'WATERLOO' below and the date 'JUNE 15 1815'. The ribbon passes through a large iron ring on top of the medal.
Clasps: None authorised for this medal.
Naming: Impressed Roman captial letters with stars filling the spaces. Comments: This was the first true campaign medal issued to all ranks who took part in the battles of Wateroo, Ligny and Quatre Bras with a total of 39,000 being awarded.
The iron suspender was prone to rusting and so often replaced by the recipient for a more pratical silver suspender. As a result a variety of suspenders are encountered which, if contemporary, should not alter the value.
The naming of this medal was done by a machine invented and constructed by two Mint workers called Thomas Jerome and Charles Harrison. Stars were used to fill spaces and any engraved examples encountered will certainly be re-named medals. Other examples of this medal are found with unofficial silver clasps engraved with the names of battles of the peninsular war. These were obtained by the soldiers themselves at a time before the institution of the Military General Service Medal. Such clasps do not generally add to the value of the medal but may be of particular interest to the collector.
Due to the high prices for this medal many copies exist on the market. Most are not mean to deceive but to fill gaps in collections but there are a few very high quality silver replicas that have been 'antiqued' and passed off as original to some unwitting collectors. Care should therefore be taken before spending large sums of money on this medal.
Medals to Colville's division are amongst the lowest priced since they did not take part in any actions. In contrast those issued to line regiments which bore the brunt of the fighting and sustained heavy casualties command high prices.
Finally it should be noted that the condition of this medal is usually not quite as good as slightly later awards. The reason for this was that the Waterloo Medal was widely and proudly worn by many recipients both in uniform and in civilian clothes for years after the Napoleonic Wars ended.
Information courtesy of www.BRITISHMEDALS.INFO
WATERLOO MEDAL named to
JOHN WIRE, 11th REG.LIGHT DRAGOONS
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