British Military Medals: A Guide for the Collector and Family Historian 2nd Edition
This second edition of Peter Ducker's best-selling British Military Medals traces the history of medals and gallantry awards from Elizabethan times to the modern day, and it features an expert account of their design and production. Campaign and gallantry medals are a key to understanding - and exploring - British and imperial military history, and to uncovering the careers and exploits of individual soldiers. In a series of succinct and well-organized chapters he explains how medals originated, to whom they were awarded and how the practice of giving medals has developed over the centuries.
His work is a guide for collectors and for local and family historians who want to learn how to use medals to discover the history of military units and the experiences of individuals who served in them.
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Medals awarded to service personnel for gallantry, good conduct, for just being present at a battle, or in a war, are treasured possessions in many families. As well as being a direct link to our ancestors they can reveal much about their service and how and why the medals were awarded.
The medal system as we know it today was developed in the mid-Victorian period to acknowledge soldiers' and sailors' gallantry. It is not necessarily terribly logical with many different medals having similar or even identical names, notably the various types of General Service Medal.
In this admirably clear and concise guide Peter Duckers introduces the many medals that we might come across in the course of research into service personnel. As well as describing the medals and the reasons they were awarded Duckers also includes details of books, websites and archive resources (mainly medal rolls, which are almost all at Kew in series WO 100) where you can find out more.
The second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, although it would be helpful if the standard TNA reference citations were used. Even so it is little wonder that this book has quickly become an essential reference work on medals.
The Friends of The National Archives