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randy266h

Just Found a Fenian Raid 1866 Medal

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I was going through some of my Fathers things. He passed away 4 years ago, and once in a while I look though boxes. I came across this medal that I remember seeing when I was young. I knew nothing about this and found a few things about it today from the web. I am new here and thought someone might provide me with a little more info about the medal or the recipient.

Enraving on the rim reads:

Tr. H. McLean St Thomas Cav.

Thank You

medal.jpg

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Randy,

Welcome, and i am sorry to hear of your loss.

The medal is the Canadian General Service Medal and was awarded for taking part in one of three campaigns: the 1866 Fenian raids, the 1870 Fenian raids, and the Red River 'rebellion' of 1870. Your medal was awarded for the first of these campaigns, the 1866 raids, hence the clasp. Different clasps were issued for the different campaigns.

Hopefully someone should be able to verify your medal on the rolls for you, but i doubt anyone would fake these medals as they are quite easy to find.

There are a couple good references out there, the names of which elude me at the moment, but a brief introduction can be found on wikipedia (Though i loath sending you there.), just search for "Fenian Raids" and that will give you a brief overview of the entire situation.

Cheers,

Sam.

Edited by Mossy

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Hello Randy,

Your fellow is listed in the rolls as Hector McLean and is listed as qualifying for the 1866 clasp.

A very nice medal and to a member of the cavalry.

I don't know that these are being copied but being on the rolls is a very good thing.

Regards

Brian

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Mossy and Brian, Thank You so much for the info. I tried to search St. Thomas Cavalry, but came up short. I will attempt again later. I was also wondering if I should clean the medal as it is rather tarnished. If so what should I use, or just leave it as is.

Thanks Again!

Randy

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Randy,

St Thomas, in Ontario, is actually fairly close to where the Fenians crossed the border from the USA. I would leave the medal as it is, although that is my personal prefernce, it seems to be one shared by many in the medal collecting community.

Cheers,

Sam.

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You should leave the medal exactly as it is. It has a lovely toned patina and it would look a lot less attractive if it were bright and shiney.

A very nice medal by the way.

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Randy - firstly, do not clean the medal - the patina has taken a 100 years to build-up and many collectors hate it when they are cleaned. Remember it is 1 oz. of pure silver - well, 925 parts,(the other 75 parts being tin, to strengthen the silver) sterling silver. The value of the medal is about £300 ($450). Do you think he was a relative ?

Look under British Police - some little time ago I posted the side panel from a police waggon and this concerned the Fenians. The many replies on this thread will answer many of your questions and give you the background to the Fenians - who were, of course, the later IRA.

Welcome to GMIC.

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Hello Randy and welcome to the Forum.

Just a thought — since you remember this medal as a child it seems to have been in your father's possession for quiet some time.

Perhaps he was a collector at some time, but if not, possibly this belonged to a family member. You might want give it some thought and do a little research into your family history. Ask around to see if someone in your family or distant relative has a connection with Canada — who knows what you may discover.

They were issued in 1900 when the veterans were at least in their 50s, possibly 60s or older.

Gary

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Hello Randy,

I live close to St. Thomas and at one time I was a Provincial Offences Prosecutor for the municipality where I worked, the court house was situated in St.Thomas. Just to be clear, here anyone who was appointed by the municipality could prosecute Provincial Offences violations (mostly parking tickets). Anyway I used to visit local museums looking for information on the "raids" in that area with no luck. However, one place that I never tried was at the Elgin Regiment. You might try them for some information as many regiments have their own museum and archives. While this may not be directly related to the Elgin Regiment if they had access to the information they would have archived it. Funny thing is that I built wall- hung display cases for the Officer's Mess at the Regiment and never thought to ask about the archives while there. :banger:

I don't have their contact information but a quick check of the internet should get you started.

As the members have said, DO NOT clean the medal. There is a good chance that the medal and the ribbon are original to one another. I have only one of these where the ribbon is the same age as the medal as it was in a family's care from the time it was issued until it was sold to me. The family member was in financial troubles (a few months ago when I purchased the medal) and I consider it as "held" in the off chance he ever wants it back or another of his family would like it returned. I paid full market for it and that was $750.00 Canadian.

Hang onto this medal at least until you research it, then don't be quick to unload it. I would think that a medal named to a cavalry trooper would fetch a good price and possibly above market. I checked the rolls again this morning as I forgot to tell you that the total number listed in the rolls for the St. Thomas Cav. is 38. There could be a few more as not all recipients are listed but most are. Many regiments are of this size, with some as low as one (1)and some in the hundreds so this is not a common issue.

I hope this helps. If I am in contact with the Regiment and I find out more I'll post my findings.

Regards

Brian

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Thanks to everyone, I will not attempt to clean the medal or the ribbon. The medal is in a small leather pouch that is hinged and has a button to close. I will post a pic later on this evening. The leather is quit worn and I do believe it to be around the same era. My Father was not a medal collector, but was a coin and stamp collector. I do not have family from Canada that I know of. I don't believe it to be from a family member. It could have been something my Grandfather picked up and passed on to my Father as a child. He was known to hang on to unique items. When I first seen the medal I assumed it was from Vietnam as my Father had two tours while in the USMC. It wasn't untill I took a closer look at it and seen the Fenian Raid 1866, that it peaked my interest.

Thanks again, and I will be updating as time goes on, I will be looking for anything else that he might have tucked away in a box. LOL :)

Randy

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In the last century the Canada-US border was quite open. And the Marines recruited a fair number of Canadians. So it is not beyond the realms of possibility that your ancestor went south.

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Other members have given lots of good information and advice, especially DON'T CLEAN the medal.

But I don't think anyone has mentioned the number of 1866 bars awarded to the St.Thomas Troop of Cavalry, which was actually 13. (Source: Ross Irwin.)

Compare this with almost 400 awarded to the 2nd Queen's Own Rifles, and you see that you have a fairly scarce medal.

This affects value, as some collectors of the Canadian General Service Medal focus on obtaining as many different units as possible and will pay a premium for a rarity....they may never see another.

Cheers,

Blackswan

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Other members have given lots of good information and advice, especially DON'T CLEAN the medal.

But I don't think anyone has mentioned the number of 1866 bars awarded to the St.Thomas Troop of Cavalry, which was actually 13. (Source: Ross Irwin.)

Compare this with almost 400 awarded to the 2nd Queen's Own Rifles, and you see that you have a fairly scarce medal.

This affects value, as some collectors of the Canadian General Service Medal focus on obtaining as many different units as possible and will pay a premium for a rarity....they may never see another.

Cheers,

Blackswan

The CAnada General Service Medal Roll 1866 - 70 Compiled & Edited by John R. Thyen (1988), lists 18 as being awarded the 1866 out of the total of 38 members of the St.Thomas Cav. to have received the CGSM.

Still a rare medal as far as the number issued.

Regards

Brian

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Thanks again for all the great information. Just think 2 weeks ago I knew nothing of this medal or it's history. Now I am like a little kid at Christmas, I have found myself looking at other medals online. However I am speanding most my effort on this one. I think this might be a new hobby of mine. I guess you have to start somewhere and what better way?

Thank You,

Randy

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I think this might be a new hobby of mine.

Be careful, it is QUITE addictive! But incredibly rewarding also.

I guess you have to start somewhere and what better way?

Dang! Got that right! Your very first medal is an original Victorian Era medal to a small unit that's in great shape and worth multi hundreds of dollars.

You lucky *bleep*!:rolleyes: Good for you!:cheers:

Edited by TacHel

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Frank,

I've often watched the Antiques Roas Show and wondered if people who brought in rare items ever used that as a nucleus for a collection. It would be great if this is the start of a new collection.

Randy,

Please keep us posted if you indeed decide to start down that dark road :ninja: of collecting.

You'll be in good company.

Regards

Brian

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Thanks, I will keep you informed. If I do go down that road, I will have everyone here to blame. :) Please take that as a compliment and not a complaint. It's nice to be welcomed to such a fine group of individual's even though I lack the knowledge. I appreciate what everyone has shared and taught me during the past week... I look foward to learning more.

Randy

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dsc05437.jpgw640.png

dsc05436.jpg

Can someone tell me if this was part of the original medal or any medal? Leather pouch that this medal was in atleast 40 years if not longer.

Edited by randy266h

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No, this is not connected with the medal. Presumably your grandfather (or someone earlier) thought it a good idea to use the pouch to store and protect the medal but it is not something that would have been provided with it.

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Thanks, I will keep you informed. If I do go down that road, I will have everyone here to blame. :) Please take that as a compliment and not a complaint. It's nice to be welcomed to such a fine group of individual's even though I lack the knowledge. I appreciate what everyone has shared and taught me during the past week... I look foward to learning more.

Randy

Hi Randy,

Hmm, blaming others for your collecting, you sound like a married man. Don't worry, I blame our fellow members for about 1/2 of my purchases, the other 1/2 on a weak will. :lol:

Regards

Brian

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I have been thinking...I have a few expensive hobbies as it is. Where would I go to possibly sell the medal? I looked at ebay....then I found a couple websites of people buying medals. If someone could point me in the right direction. A trustworthy dealer or company? What is a fair price on ebay or a dealer?

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I have been thinking...I have a few expensive hobbies as it is. Where would I go to possibly sell the medal? I looked at ebay....then I found a couple websites of people buying medals. If someone could point me in the right direction. A trustworthy dealer or company? What is a fair price on ebay or a dealer?

Hello Randy,

I'd stay away from eBay as that can end up being a "garage sale". I'd look for a collector who specializes in this era, that's where you will get you best value. Perhaps one of the other members would be interested or be able to pass your name along to someone they know. Just stay away from on-line auctions unless you are ready to take a lot less than market value.

In that case give me a call. :lol: I'm only kidding of course.

Regards

Brian

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Hello Randy,

I'd stay away from eBay as that can end up being a "garage sale". I'd look for a collector who specializes in this era, that's where you will get you best value. Perhaps one of the other members would be interested or be able to pass your name along to someone they know. Just stay away from on-line auctions unless you are ready to take a lot less than market value.

In that case give me a call. laugh.gif I'm only kidding of course.

Regards

Brian

Thank You Brian... No online auctions then, thank you for that advice.

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The prices of Victorian campaign medals keep going up. I remember turning down a mint condition Fenian Raid 1866 to the Queen's Own Rifles because I though that $125 was "too high". Now practically any Fenian Raid will set you back $500. You might want to put it away and use it to fund you retirement. It's one of those medals that there's never a shortage of buyers.

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Assuming that he was still in Canada to be issued the medal (?)...

the 1881 Canadian Census online shows only two Hector McLeans in Ontario. Don't know how accurate they were (my folk were often not home or didn't answer the door for U.S. Censustakers, and successfully evaded the overseas minions of the Established Swedish Church as well :whistle: ). One was born in 1848-- 18 is possible I suppose

but the other "age 52" was a farmer in "Clarence, Russell, Ontario," farmer, Presbyterian, husband of 43 year old Jeanet with nine children at home between the ages of 18 and an infant newborn. I can't turn up Clarence on a map.

He would appear to be the Hector McLean born 22 January 1830 who died in Wallaceburg (quite near St. Thomas) on 22 December 1912.

Of any help?...

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