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Italy - British Crimean medal to Sardinian Troups

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I don't believe there was a French medal for the Crimean campaign; they used the British campaign medal instead.

The French were quite generous with Medal Militaire and Legion d'honner awards though in recompense.

If the Italians used the same ribbon as the British, then the portrait I saw of general Verde does NOT show a Sardinian campaign medal-alas!

There are upwards of 60,000 unissued British style Turkish Crimean medals in 60 fathoms off the coast of Malta-probably still on the sandy floor of the Med. just waiting for someone to hoover them up. The ship went down in 1860 on the way to london.

I reckon with todays' prices that's $5,000,000 worth of treasure just waiting there.

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Hello,

does anyone have the book of H. Gillingham Italian Orders of Chivalry and Medals of Honour? May be we can find some answers to the questions about the Sardinian Crimea.

About the Turkish Crimea Medal an interesting link http://www.spink.com...hayward/jh7.asp

Regards

Montenotte

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I have Gillinghams' book and it merely described the medal. Almost no other details were given therein. The book says the Italian medal was issued to Piedmontese troops who served in the campaign, was authorized in October, 1856 and used the (British)Crimean ribbon, although some authorities also stated it had the red/white/green national colours as a ribbon.

The Italian Order of Battle is excellent.

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ah ha!!

Thanks to JK Militaria!!

All issued named, some fakes (spangenstuck?) are out there. Apparently some are seen with unofficial clasps and these are viewed with some caution.

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Hello Hugh,

Thank you for your encouragements and directions.

This is the obverse of the Sardinian Crimea campaign medal issued to the Sardinian/Piemontese troups who could not receive a British Crimean campaing medal because of the shortage. It was known as "la medaglia sarda di Crimea il 15 giuni 1856". In 1857 the Minister in charge of War (who was in command of the Sardinian troups in the Crimea" wrote " Il numero della medaglia inglese di Crimea nonessendo sufficiente per fregiarne tutti i milltari, che si recarono in Oriente prima dell'8 settembre 1855, questo Ministero provederà accio coloro, a cui non possa essere la medessima assegnata, ricevaro quella che S.M. ordinava fosse coniata col l'Augusta sua effigie, e la quale verrà pure distribuita al militari,che prestarono servizio agli Stabilimenti sul Bosforo".

The engraver's signature is : G. FERRARIS

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And here is the reverse (just a little bit late, since Ulsterman has found an illustration).

The very frayed ribbon is possibly an original. Same coulours as the the British medal, but notably wider to fit the suspender.

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The mystery deepens- in rummaging about random Sardinian officers' names on google images I have discovered that two Sardinian officers charges with the Light Brigade at Balaclava and there wear number of other Italian officers and men present at the battle.

Even more exciting, portraits of Captain (later general minister) Gorvone show him wearing a Crimean (British) medal-with three clasps.

Purportedly allied soldiers did not receive clasps, but apparently some obtained them.

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Hallo,

The Major Govone and the Lieutenant Landriani charged with the Light Brigade at Balaklava, they were military observers attached to the french staff in Crimea before the Sardinian intervention (T. Brighton, Hell Riders). Really, the portrait of (later) General Govone shows a British Crimea Medal with three clasps.

e la quale verrà pure distribuita al militari,che prestarono servizio agli Stabilimenti sul Bosforo".

Could we understand that the troops remained in the Turkey only have received the Sardinian Medal while the troops that have taken part to the combats in Crimea have received the British one?

Regards

Montenotte

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Hello Hugh,

Thank you for your encouragements and directions.

This is the obverse of the Sardinian Crimea campaign medal issued to the Sardinian/Piemontese troups who could not receive a British Crimean campaing medal because of the shortage. It was known as "la medaglia sarda di Crimea il 15 giuni 1856". In 1857 the Minister in charge of War (who was in command of the Sardinian troups in the Crimea" wrote " Il numero della medaglia inglese di Crimea nonessendo sufficiente per fregiarne tutti i milltari, che si recarono in Oriente prima dell'8 settembre 1855, questo Ministero provederà accio coloro, a cui non possa essere la medessima assegnata, ricevaro quella che S.M. ordinava fosse coniata col l'Augusta sua effigie, e la quale verrà pure distribuita al militari,che prestarono servizio agli Stabilimenti sul Bosforo".

The engraver's signature is : G. FERRARIS

Hi, Veteran,

Glad to see that you've gotten the pictures up here. It's the first time (with Ulsterman's) that i've seen this medal. No more confusion with the Turks.

Thanks,

Hugh

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I'd like to add another British Crimea medal to this topic, which is rim engraved to a Sardinian. My example reads "MARTo PASTORE, SERe DEL 2o GRANi DI SARDa". This apparently translates to "Sgt. Martino Pastore, 2nd Grenadiers of Sardinia". There were two battalions of Grenadiers in the 1st Sardinian Brigade, which was held in reserve. I don't know how much combat this brigade experienced.

I am a new member to the GMIC, but have been a long time member of OMSA here in the US. Regards, Tom Nier

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The relative status of the British Crimea versus the Sardinian Crimea medals has been well discussed by Ulsterman & Elmar Lang. A.R. Margrave of the Crimean War Research Society (UK) has written much about the British Crimea medal awarded to the French & Sardinians. He quoted original Foreign Office & other archival correspondence which pointed out that Queen Victoria intended to apply the same medal qualification to the Allies as for British forces. The British medal was to be awarded only to those active British & Allied personnel who had arrived in the Crimea on or before 9 September 1855, which date marked the capture of Sebastopol. Late arrivals after 9-09-1855 did not qualify for the British medal. So it would appear that one purpose of the Sardinian Crimea medal was for award to the Sardinians arriving too late for the British medal.

A second purpose for the Sardinian medal arose from the British decision to ship only 15,000 British Crimea medals to Sardinia, according to Margrave's research. It has been pointed out that the Sardinian Expeditionary Corps amounted to 18,000 men, and by the end of the war had further grown to an estimated 21,000 men. The Sardinian Crimea medal would have compensated for the inadequate supply of British medals for Sardinian veterans who had arrived in the Crimea before 9-09-1855.

There is a handsome certificate from the Sardinian War Ministry that accompanied the British Crimea medal awarded to Sardinian troops. Perhaps some of you have seen or own an example. My photocopy of one such is made out to Grenadier Francesco Morini of the 2nd Regiment of Sardinian Grenadiers, dated 15 June 1856 at Turin.

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Can we see a certificate? :cheers:

If there were 15,000 British (unengraved) medals to Sardinians and assuming KIA got medals too-then @ 6,000 Sardinian Crimean medals is a good estimate (21,000-15,000) ?

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Can we see a certificate? :cheers:

If there were 15,000 British (unengraved) medals to Sardinians and assuming KIA got medals too-then @ 6,000 Sardinian Crimean medals is a good estimate (21,000-15,000) ?

The exact number of Sardinian campaign medals for the Crimea is difficult to establish, but I have a feeling 6.000 would be very large number. 1.500 comes to my mind, but I cannot recall why. They very seldom show up at auction sales, much less I would say than the Al Valore Militare for the same campaign. One was sold in London in September (DNW auction sale, n°616) for £850 hammer price on an estimate of £300-400 !

British Crimea medals to the Sardes were often, if not always, officially engraved, exactly in the same maner the Sardinian Crimea medals were. They can be told that way, and there was one such medal in the same DNW sale (n°711). It was mistaken for a French recipient's because the ma who received it had a French sounding name (MESTRELLET) often found in Savoya, then still part of the Kingdom of Sardinia.

This has been a very interesting post up to now, and I hope more information will be forthcoming for our mutual benefit.

Veteran

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Bonjour messieurs,

We can extract a few more elements from the superb work made by Hubert HEYRIES,"Les militaires savyoards et niçois entre deux patries, 1848-1871" (printed by Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier, 2001).

(This massive 550p. study is really devoted to the way soldiers and officers from Savoie and Nice fared when both were annexed by France in 1860, but he goes back in time).

- In the treaty signed with France and England on January 26th 1856, Sardinian King Victor-Emmanuel II pledged to provide a contingent of 15,000 men - provided the allies guaranteed the integrity of Piedmont-Sardaigne for the duration of the war, lent him £1,000,000, and that the Sardinian troops were to be transported by the Royal Navy.

That is an interesting figure, and maybe why the British would have provided 15,000 medals only to the Sardinian army ?

- The number of troops sent to the Crimea, as has been pointed out, exceeded the agreed figure.

Heyries says that 18,058 men and 3,496 horses had been sent to the East by the end of April 1855.

The overall figure he gives for the war is a total of 21,501 men transported out.

(source : "Specchio dei bastimenti su nazionali che esteri coi quali si effetuo il transporto", Segretario Generale, Gabinetto, ministero della guerra, Archivio di Stato di Torino).

- The Sardinian expeditionnary corps was placed under the authority of Lord Raglan.

Heyries says transporting the Sardinian troops gave the British a de facto powerful levy on their destination - and potential role in the war...

According to him, the British did not want the Sardinian to cover themselves with glory, for they thought it may have lead Victor-Emmanuel to lay claim for Austrian territory as compensation - something he had been denied in the Treaty.

So the British were more than happy with the Sardinians as a Reserve Corps.

- As for the expeditionary Corps, as shown on th OdB in the link provided above, it was constituted with provisory regiments (each infantry regiment, for instance, providing a battalion, made with the four 1st Companies of each of its battalions).

What Heyries specifies is that it amounted to :

* 1/4 of the total Infantry

* 1/2 the Bersaglieris

* 1/4 campaign artillery

* 1/7 of the total Cavalry

* A "notable portion" of the Services.

- The only real engagement of the Sardinians was, as said, at Traktir / the Tchernaya.

Heyries gives their casualties as :

* 3 officers died, 12 wounded

* 27 other ranks died, 144 wounded.

That's 30 combat dead, out of a total of 31 for the war.

(source : "Rapporto sul personale del corpo di spedizione in Oriente, 28 novembre 1858", Segretario Generale, ministero della guerra, archivio di Stato di Torino)

At Traktir, the Reserve Brigade (including the Savoy troops) were not engaged ; it seems the Bersaglieri saw the heat of the action.

- The overall casualties for the Sardinian Army, who suffered much from the dreadful cholera, was of 85 officers and 2450 other ranks (including the 244 dead after their return home).

- As for medals, Heyries mentions the following awarded to the Sardinian Army :

(source : "Rapporto sul personale del corpo di spedizione in Oriente, 28 novembre 1858", Segretario Generale, ministero della guerra, archivio di Stato di Torino)

* 7 British Orders of the Bath.

* 4 Turkish Medjidies

* 2 Spanish Orders (one Great Cross of Charles III, one 1st Class San Ferdinando order).

* 69 French Legion d'Honneur.

And for their own awards, not much was handed out :

* 25 Crosses of Saint-Mauritius and Lazarus.

* 31 Crosses of the Savoy Military Order.

* 19 Silver "Al Valore Militare" only (2 to NCOs, 4 to Corporals, 13 to Soldiers).

* 154 Honourable Mentions ("Mentions Honorables" - I don't think those translated into medals).

He mentions that "presque tous les militaires du corps expéditionnaires reçurent la médaille de Crimée anglaise et sarde" ("almost all the members of the expeditionary corps received the Crimea medal, British and Sardinian").

He doesn't say if that included casualties (which can be doubted if the French example is considered).

A total of 19,084 Sardinians came back from the Crimea.

One could infer a total ranging from c.4,000 (deceased not counted) to 6,500 (deceased counted) Sardinian Crimea medals struck ?

Salutations,

Jérôme

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Incredible gentlemen, my grand father was Pietro Laugero he was born in Italia in Vinadio provincia di Cunéo july 15 TH 1894 Matricola 35704 Caporale maggiore croce di guerra ....

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Interesting, but I think that they aren't the same person. A veteran of the Crimean War was born much earlier than 1894.

Your grandfather surely fought in WW1.

Laugero is one of the typical, Piedmontese family names; I suppose being strictly connected with its French corresponding, Laugier.

Best wishes,

E.L.

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/post-8573-0-73908800-1408981768.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_08_2014/post-8573-0-75227300-1408981786.jpgAttached is an example of the Sardinian brevetto (= certificate) for the British Crimea medal. It is made out to "Grenadier Francesco Mario Morini, 2nd Regt. of Sardinian Genadiers." Attached also is Morini's brevetto for the French medal for the Italie 1859 campaign. By then, Morini had become a Drummer (Tamburino) in the 2nd Regt.

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Very interesting indeed: this is the italian award document for the British Crimea medal.

Best wishes,

E.L.

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Hello pietro

Would you think the medal I mentioned could have been awarded to a member of your family ?

Best regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran

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Hello my grand father was Laugero Pietro Caporale maggiore Matricola 34704 62 °Reggimento INFANTERIA RIPARTO ASSALTO sezione mitragliatrice, he awarded lot of medals during the year 1918

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Pietro,

The Pietro Laugero who received the British Crimean war medal named would rather have been your great-grandfather or even his faher, don't you think ? The period was 1854-1855. The owner of this medal would have been born in 1837 at the latest.

Regards

Veteran

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Corporal Pietro Laugero, received a Bronze "Al Valore Militare" medal for an action in Sop (Serbian Macedonia), on Sept. 29th, 1918.

He remained the only survivor of his machine-gun section and continued to fire his weapon, facing the overwhelming enemy, keeping his position, although the order to retreat was given. Only when the retreat was completed, he went back to the new position, not abandoning his arms, and carrying them in safe.

Actually, a brave soldier indeed.

E.L.

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This post was very active some years ago. Unfortunately, posting pictures was then more than I could handle..

 

">Crimée_LAUGERO_.thumb.jpg.bf8cf1544d65e

I have now found (at last !) the way to do it and show the medal engraved :  8o CUNEO SOLo LAUGERO PIETRO

As you can see from the ribbon the medal seems to have been well worn as it is. For some strange reason, the ribbon carries all four clasps of British Crimean campaign.

Could it have been "improved" by Soldato Laugero ?

Best regards

Veteran

 

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