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Naval General Service Medal

Conflict
 
For General Service In The French Revolutionary Wars, The Napoleonic Wars & The War Of 1812.
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
History
 
The Naval General Service Medal was a British Empire campaign medal presented for service during various naval actions during the period 1793-1840 - a period including the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Anglo-American War of 1812. The medal was instituted in June 1847 and retrospectively awarded to officers and men of the Royal Navy, although a small number of awards were made to officers and men of the British Army and Royal Marines, present on board HM's ships during qualifying actions.
 
Each battle or action covered by the medal was represented by a clasp on the ribbon. The medal was never issued without a clasp, and in all, 231 were sanctioned. The clasps covered a variety of actions, from boat service to ship to ship skirmishes all the way to major fleet actions such as the Battle of Trafalgar.
 
Sir John Hindmarsh and Admiral of the Fleet Sir James Alexander Gordon were awarded medals with seven clasps, the most awarded to any individual. Four men qualified for six clasps, and fourteen men qualified for five clasps.
 
The medal was only awarded to surviving claimants. The recipient had to have survived until 1847 and then to actively apply for it. A combination of factors, from general illiteracy to limited publicity for the new medal meant that very many did not. Consequently there are substantially fewer medals issued compared with the number of men who served during this period. Frequently the number of claimants for individual clasps was reckoned in single figures - for ten clasps, there were no claims made at all. 20,933 medals were awarded in total - most with a single clasp.
 
The final date for submitting claims was 1 May 1851. The medal was awarded only to surviving claimants and next of kin could not apply for a medal on behalf of a deceased relative. However, the medal was awarded to next of kin of those claimants who had died between the date of their application and the date of presentation.
 
Description
 
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in silver. The obverse of this medal bears the head of Queen Victoria with the inscription; 'VICTORIA REGINA'.
 
The reverse depicts Britannia riding a seahorse and holding a trident.
 
The ribbon suspender is of a plain, straight and swivelling style, attached to the medal by a claw mount.
 
The recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim impressed in Roman capital letters.
 
Ribbon
 
Naval General Service Medal 1847 BAR.svg
 
The ribbon is 32mm wide and is white in colour with a narrow dark blue stripe along either edge.
 
Bars/Clasps
 
When the Admiralty issued a medal, the medal bore a clasp representing the specific battle or action which that issue of the medal commemorated.
 
In all, the Admiralty authorized 231 clasps, although in eight cases, all potential claimants had either died prior to the authorization of the medal or never made a claim, with the result that those medals and their clasps were never issued.
 
This medal was issued with the following clasps:-
 
French 'Revolutionary Wars' period:-
 
Nymphe 18 June 1793
Crescent 20 Octr. 1793
Zebra 17 March 1794
Carysfort 29 May 1794
Carysfort 29 May 1794
1 June 1794
Romney 17 June 1794
Blanche 4 Jany. 1795
Lively, 13 March 1795
14 March 1795
Astraea 10 April 1795
Thetis 17 May 1795
Hussar 17 May 1795
Mosquito 9 June 1795
17 June 1795
23 June 1795
Dido 24 June 1795
Lowestoffe 24 June 1795
Spider 25 Augt. 1795
Port Spergui
Indefatigable 20 Apl. 1796
Unicorn 8 June 1796
Sta. Margaritta 8 June 1796
Southampton 9 June 1796
Dryad 13 June 1796
Terpsichore 13 Octr. 1796
Lapwing 3 Decr. 1796
Minerve 19 Decr. 1796
Blanche 19 Dec. 1796
Indefatigable 13 Jany. 1797
Amazon 13 Jany. 1797
St Vincent
San Fiorenzo 8 March 1797
Nymphe 8 March 1797
Camperdown
Phoebe 21 Decr. 1797
Mars 21 April 1798
Isle St. Marcou
Lion 15 July 1798
Nile
Espoir 7 Augt. 1798
12 October 1798
Fisgard 20 Octr. 1798
Sibylle 28 Feby. 1799
Telegraph 18 March 1799
Acre
Schiermonnikoog 12 Augt. 1799
Arrow 13 Sept. 1799
Wolverine 13 Sept. 1799
Surprise with Hermione
Speedy 6 Novr. 1799
Courier 22 Novr. 1799
Viper 26 Decr. 1799
Harpy 5 Feb. 1800
Fairy 5 Feby. 1800
Loire 5 Feby 1800
Peterel 21 March 1800
Penelope 30 March 1800
Vinciego 30 March 1800
Capture of the Désirée
Seine 20 Augt. 1800
Phoebe 19 Feby. 1801
Egypt
Copenhagen 1801
Speedy 6 May 1801
Gut of Gibraltar 12 July 1801
Sylph 28 Septr. 1801
Pasley 28 Octr. 1801
 
The Napoleonic Wars period:-
 
Scorpion 31 March 1804
Beaver 31 March 1804
Centurion 18 Sept. 1804
Arrow 3 Feby. 1805
Acheron 3 Feby. 1805
San Fiorenzo 14 Feby. 1805
Phoenix 10 Augt. 1805
Trafalgar
4 Novr. 1805
St. Domingo
Amazon 13 March 1806
London 13 March 1806
Pique 26 March 1806
Sirius 17 April 1806
Blanche 19 July 1806
Arethusa 23 Augt. 1806
Anson 23 Augt. 1806
Curacoa 1 Jany. 1807
Pickle 3 Jany. 1807
Hydra 6 Augt. 1807
Comus 15 Augt. 1807
Louisa 28 Octr. 1807
Carrier 4 Novr. 1807
Ann 24 Novr. 1807
Sappho 2 March 1808
San Fiorenzo 8 March 1808
Emerald 13 March 1808
Childers 14 March 1808
Nassau 22 March 1808
Stately 22 March 1808
Off Rota 4 April 1808
Grasshopper 24 April 1808
Rapid 24 April 1808
Redwing 7 May 1808
Virginie 19 May 1808
Redwing 31 May 1808
Seahorse Wh. Badere Zaffere
Comet 11 Augt. 1808
Centaur 26 Augt. 1808
Implacable 26 Augt. 1808
Cruizer 1 Novr. 1808
Amethyst Wh. Thetis
Off the Pearl Rok 13 Decr. 1808
Onyx 1 Jany. 1809
Confiance 14 Jany. 1809
Martinique
Horatio 10 Feby. 1809
Supèrieure 10 Feby. 1809
Amethyst 5 April 1809
Basque Roads 1809
Recruit 17 June 1809
Pompee 17 June 1809
Castor 17 June 1809
Cyane 25 and 27 June 1809
L'Espoir 25–27 June 1809
Bonne Citoyenne Wh. Furieuse
Diana 11 Sept. 1809
Anse la Barque 18 Decr. 1809
Cherokee 10 Jany. 1810
Scorpion 12 Jany. 1810
Guadaloupe
Thistle 10 Feby. 1810
Surly 24 April 1810
Firm 24 April 1810
Sylvia 26 April 1810
Spartan 3 May 1810
Royalist May and June 1810
Amanthea 25 July 1810
Banda Neira
Staunch 18 Sept. 1810
Otter 18 Sept. 1810
Boadicea 18 Sept. 1810
Briseis 14 Octr. 1810
Lissa
Anholt 27 March 1811
Arrow 6 April 1811
Off Tamatave 20 May 1811
Hawke 18 Augt. 1811
Java
Skylark 11 Novr. 1811
Locust 11 Novr. 1811
Pelagosa 29 Novr. 1811
Victorious Wh. Rivoli
Weasel 22 Feby. 1812
Rosario 27 March 1812
Griffon 27 March 1812
Northumberland 22 May 1812
Growler 22 May 1812
Malaga 29 May 1812
Off Mardoe 6 July 1812
Sealark 21 July 1812
Royalist 29 Decr. 1812
 
The War Of 1812 onwards:-
 
Weasel 22 April 1813
Shannon Wh. Chesapeake
Pelican 14 Augt. 1813
St. Sebastian
Thunder 9 Octr. 1813
Glückstadt 5 Jany. 1814
Venerable 16 Jany. 1814
Cyane 16 Jany. 1814
Eurotas 25 Feby. 1814
Hebrus Wh. L'Etoile
Phoebe 28 March 1814
Cherub 28 March 1814
The Potomac 17 Augt. 1814
Endymion Wh. President
Gaieta 24 July 1815
Algiers
Navarino
Syria
 
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
 
Boat Service clasps
 
The Boat Service clasps commemorate a number of actions performed by boats' crews in cutting out, and in some instances actually recovering, British vessels lost to the enemy, or capturing enemy vessels.
 
The medal was issued with the following 'Boat Service' clasp:-
 
15 Mar. Boat Service 1793
Awarded for the attack on the fortifications at Willemstadt.
17 Mar. Boat Service 1794
Awarded for boarding and capturing the French frigate Bienvenue, and other vessels in Fort Royal Bay.
29 May Boat Service 1797
Awarded for cutting out of the Mutine.
9 June Boat Service 1799
Awarded for the capture of a Spanish polacre.
20 Dec. Boat Service 1799
Awarded for the recapture of the cutter Lady Nelson, which had been taken by two privateers.
29 July Boat Service 1800
Awarded for the capture of the gun-brig Cerbère from the harbour at Port-Louis, Morbihan.
29 Aug. Boat Service 1800
Awarded for the cutting out of the French privateer Guêpe in Vigo Bay.
27 Oct. Boat Service 1800
Awarded for the cutting out of the Spanish polacre San Josef at Fuengirola.
21 July Boat Service 1801
Awarded for the cutting out of the French naval corvette Chevrette in Camaret Bay.
27 June Boat Service 1803
Awarded for the cutting out of the French brig Venteux.
4 Nov. Boat Service 1803
Awarded for the cutting out of a French schooner at Santo Domingo.
4 Feb. Boat Service 1804
Awarded for the cutting out of Curieux at Fort Royal.
4 June Boat Service 1805
Awarded for the capture of the French privateer Confiance in Muros Bay, Spain.
16 July Boat Service 1806
Awarded for the cutting out of the French 16-gun brig-corvette César from the Gironde estuary.
2 Jan. Boat Service 1807
Awarded for the capture of a French schooner and sloop at Martinique.
21 Jan. Boat Service 1807
Awarded for the capture of French corvette Lynx off the coast of Venezuela.
19 Apl. Boat Service 1807
Awarded for the capture of the Spanish privateer lugger Galliard north of Peniche.
13 Feb. Boat Service 1808
Awarded for the capture of a French gun-boat off the Tagus.
10 July Boat Service 1808
Awarded for the capture of a large 6-gun polacre at Port d'Anzo.
11 Aug. Boat Service 1808
Awarded for the capture of the Danish 16-gun brig-sloop Fama and 12-gun cutter Salorman at Nyborg, Denmark.
28 Nov. Boat Service 1808
Awarded for the attack on shore batteries, and the capture of schooner and a brig at Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe.
7 July Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the capture and destruction of 7 Russian gun-boats and 12 storeships at Hango Head, Baltic Sea.
14 July Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the storming of a battery at Carry-le-Rouet, west of Marseille.
25 July Boat Service 1809
Awarded for action with a cutter and the capture of the schooner Guadaloupe.
25 July Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the attack on four Russian gunboats and a brig off Aspö Head, near Fredrikshamn, Finland.
27 July Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the taking and destroying a battery at Cuxhaven.
29 July Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the capture of six Italian gun-boats and ten trabaccolos at Duino, Trieste
28 Aug. Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the destruction of a shore battery and five trabaccolos, and the capture of two large and four smaller gun-boats and two trabaccolos at Cortelazzo, west of Venice.
1 Nov. Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the attack on a French convoy in the Bay of Rosas and capture of eleven vessels.
13 Dec. Boat Service 1809
Awarded for the cutting out of the French 16-gun brig-corvette Nisus at Deshaies, Guadaloupe.
13 Feb. Boat Service 1810
Awarded for the attack on French gun-boats, with several destroyed and one captured, at the Basque Roads.
1 May Boat Service 1810
Awarded for the storming of two batteries and capture of the French schooner Estafette at Jacolet, Mauritius.
28 June Boat Service 1810.
Awarded for the attack on a convoy of twenty-five vessels at Grao, five ships captured, the rest destroyed.
27 Sept. Boat Service 1810
Awarded for the destruction of a battery and a brig, and the capture of two brigs at Pointe de Che, Basque Roads.
4 Nov. Boat Service 1810
Awarded for the capture of the French lateen xebec privateer Caesar off Cape Sicié, west of Toulon.
23 Nov. Boat Service 1810
Awarded for the attack and destruction of French shipping at Port St. Mary, Bay of Cádiz.
24 Dec. Boat Service 1810
Awarded for the destruction of the French 40-gun frigate L'Elize at La Hogue.
4 May Boat Service 1811
Awarded for the destruction of French 14-gun brig at Parenza.
30 July Boat Service 1811
Awarded for the storming of Fort Marrack, west of Batavia, Java.
2 Aug. Boat Service 1811
Awarded for the capture of three Danish gun-brigs in the River Jahde.
20 Sept. Boat Service 1811
Awarded for the capture of Danish gun-boats.
4 Dec. Boat Service 1811
Awarded for the capture of a French settee, and the brig Le Languedocienne off Bastia.
4 Apl. Boat Service 1812
Awarded for the capture of the French privateer xebec Martinet in the Mediterranean.
1 Sept. Boat Service 1812
Awarded for the capture of two merchant vessels off Rovigno, and a number of others, including the French xebec Tisiphone, and two gun-boats.
17 Sept. Boat Service 1812
Awarded for the capture of 17 gun-boats, and destruction of six, at Cape Maestro, Ancona.
29 Sept. Boat Service 1812
Awarded for the attack on Mittau, Riga, and capture of officers and men of the enemy.
6 Jany. Boat Service 1813
Awarded for the capture of five gun-brigs off Otranto.
21 Mar. Boat Service 1813
Awarded for the capture of the Danish gun-boats Jonge-Troutman and Liebe off Brunsbüttel.
28 Apl. Boat Service 1813
Awarded for the destruction of the American 'letter of marque' Wampoe off Block Island.
Apl-May Boat Service 1813
Awarded for the two attacks on Frenchtown and Havre de Grace, Maryland, and destruction of the Fort and cannon foundry.
May Boat Service 1813
Awarded for the destruction of a battery and the capture of six vessels at Morgion.
8 Apl. Boat Service 1814
Awarded for the destruction of twenty-seven American vessels, including three privateers, at Pettipague Point, about 15 miles up Connecticut River.
24 May Boat Service 1814
Awarded for the capture of the L'Aigle off Corfu.

3-6 Spt. Boat Service 1814

Awarded for the capture of the USS Tigress and USS Scorpion in the Nottawasaga River, Lake Huron.
14 Dec. Boat Service 1814
Awarded for the capture of five U.S. gun-boats and a sloop in Lake Borgne.

 

This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.

Dealer Retail Value *

Naval GSM with a single claps from
£1,000.00
Naval GSM with a single boat service clasp from
£2,000.00
For valuations for medals with specific clasps, or, 1 or more clasps please ‘contact us’.
 
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
 
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
 
*** Due to the large number of clasps available for this medal, the value for medals which contains certain clasps will vary considerably.
 
Further Historical Context
 
This section contains information on:-
 
The French Revolutionary Wars - The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts fought between the French Republic government and several European Monarchies from 1792 to 1802.
 
Marked by French revolutionary fervour and military innovations, the campaigns saw the French Revolutionary Armies defeat a number of opposing coalitions. They resulted in expanded French control to the Low Countries, Italy, and the Rhineland. The wars depended on extremely high numbers of soldiers, recruited by modern mass conscription.
 
The French Revolutionary Wars are usually divided between those of the First Coalition (1792-1797) and the Second Coalition (1798-1801). France was at war with Great Britain continuously from 1793 to 1802.
 
Hostilities with Great Britain ceased with the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but conflict soon started up again with the Napoleonic Wars. The Treaty of Amiens is usually reckoned to mark the end of the French Revolutionary Wars; however, historians have proposed other events before and after 1802 as the starting point of the Napoleonic Wars.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The Napoleonic Wars - The Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) were a series of wars between Napoleon's French Empire and opposing coalitions led by Great Britain. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly owing to the application of modern mass conscription.
 
French power rose quickly as Napoleon's armies conquered much of Europe but collapsed rapidly after France's disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon was defeated in 1814; he returned and was finally defeated in 1815 at Waterloo, and all France's gains were taken away by the victors.
 
Before a final victory against Napoleon, five of seven coalitions saw defeat at the hands of France. France defeated the first and second coalitions during the French Revolutionary Wars, the third (notably at Austerlitz), the fourth (notably at Jena, Eylau, and Friedland) and the fifth coalition (notably at Wagram) under the leadership of Napoleon.
 
These great victories gave the French Army a sense of invulnerability, especially when it approached Moscow. But after the retreat from Russia, in spite of incomplete victories, France was defeated by the sixth coalition at Leipzig, in the Peninsular War at Vitoria and at the hands of the seventh coalition at Waterloo.
 
The wars resulted in the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and sowed the seeds of nascent nationalism in Germany and Italy that would lead to the two nations' respective consolidations later in the century.
 
Meanwhile, the global Spanish Empire began to unravel as French occupation of Spain weakened Spain's hold over its colonies, providing an opening for nationalist revolutions in Spanish America. As a direct result of the Napoleonic wars, the British Empire became the foremost world power for the next century, thus beginning Pax Britannica.
 
No consensus exists about when the French Revolutionary Wars ended and the Napoleonic Wars began. An early candidate is 9 November 1799, the date of Bonaparte's coup seizing power in France. However, the most common date is 18 May 1803, when renewed war broke out between Britain and France, ending the one-year-old Peace of Amiens, the only period of general peace in Europe between 1792 and 1814.
 
Most actual fighting ceased following Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo on 18 June 1815, although skirmishing continued as late as 3 July 1815 at the Battle of Issy. The Second Treaty of Paris officially ended the wars on 20 November 1815.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
 
The War Of 1812 - The War of 1812 was a 32-month military conflict between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies and its Indian allies. The outcome resolved many issues which remained from the American War of Independence, but involved no boundary changes.
 
The United States declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain's continuing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honour after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American interest in annexing British North American territory (part of modern-day Canada) which had been denied to them in the settlement ending the American Revolutionary War.
 
The war was fought in three principal theatres. Firstly, at sea, warships and privateers of each side attacked the other's merchant ships, while the British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the United States and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war. Secondly, both land and naval battles were fought on the American-Canadian frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence River and the northern end of Lake Champlain.
 
Thirdly, the American South and Gulf Coast also saw major land battles in which the American forces defeated Britain's Indian allies and a British invasion force at New Orleans. Some invasions or counter strikes were unsuccessful, while others successfully attacked enemy objectives and took possession of opposition territory. At the end of the war both sides signed the Treaty of Ghent, and all parties returned occupied land to its pre-war owner.
 
With the majority of its army and naval forces tied down in Europe fighting the Napoleonic Wars until 1814, the British at first used a defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. The Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and ended the prospect of an Indian confederacy and an independent Indian state in the Midwest under British sponsorship. In September 1814, a British force invaded and occupied eastern Maine.
 
This territory, along with parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, were seized and held by the British and their Indian allies for the duration of the war. In the southwest, General Andrew Jackson destroyed the military strength of the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 on April 6, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies.
 
The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C, but they were repulsed in an attempt to take Baltimore. American victories in September 1814 repulsed the British invasion of New York, and the British suffered a major defeat at New Orleans in January 1815.
 
In the United States, late victories over invading British armies at the battles of Plattsburg, Baltimore (inspiring their national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner'), and New Orleans produced a sense of euphoria over a 'second war of independence' against Britain. Peace brought an 'Era of Good Feelings' to the U.S. in which partisan animosity nearly vanished.
 
In Upper and Lower Canada, British and Provincial militia victories over invading American armies became iconic and promoted the development of a distinct Canadian identity which included strong loyalty to Britain.
 
Today, particularly in loyalist-founded Ontario, memory of the war retains its significance because the defeat of the invasions ensured that the Canadas would remain part of the British Empire rather than be annexed by the United States. In Canada, numerous ceremonies took place in 2012 to commemorate the war, offer historical lessons and celebrate 200 years of peace across the border.
 
The war is scarcely remembered in Britain today, as it regarded the conflict as a sideshow to the much larger Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe.
 
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.