Brian Smaller has posted the above article about the St Helena Medal on his excellent Woolshed Wargamer blog. I’m re-blogging it here because it relates to my great-great-great-great-grandfather.
My ancestor, Pierre van Dooren, was a staff trumpeter in Napoleon’s 12th Dragoons. I’ve blogged about him before on this page.
From documentation I’ve seen quoted, he certainly applied for this medal, which he was entitled to by his service during he Napoleonic Wars. But so far he is not named in the list of recipients, which is currently being compiled in France – but that list hasn’t yet got many Dutch veterans at all.
The St. Helena medal was the first French campaign medal issued. It was instituted in 1857 by Emperor Napoleon III to commemorate the campaigns of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Some four hundred thousand were struck and issued to those who had served under Napoleon I.
The medal is of irregular shape, made of bronze. It is a medallion surrounded by a laurel wreath, tied at the bottom. It is surmounted by the Imperial Crown. The obverse of the medallion bears the effigy of Emperor Napoleon I. It is surrounded by the inscription “Napoleon I Empereur”. The reverse inscription reads: “Campagnes de 1792 a 1815. A Ses Compagnons de Gloire sa Derniere Pensee Ste. Helene 5 Mai 1821” (Campaigns of 1792 to 1818. His companions of glory were in his final thoughts. St. Helena 5 May 1821). The designer was Albert Désiré Barre. His privy mark, an anchor, is below…
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3 thoughts on “St Helena Medal”
Interesting – I didn’t know about this medal. I visited Longwood on St Helena as couple of years ago and there is something depressing about it – perhaps because it was really just a set of converted farm buildings, is quite cramped and was definately damp. Hardly an Imperial Palace. No wonder his thoughts turned to his campaigns and former glories as he languished there.
I’ve blogged a bit about St Helena’s military architecture in some early posts on the Wishful Wargamer blog (which I actually started when I was on the island) and may add something about Longwood, now I think about it.
Ooh, I’ll have to look at your blog. I really can’t picture what St Helena is like at all.