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Order of Medjidie: Dr Thomas Coutts Morison MRCSE LSA JP

Paul Rosenzweig

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Dr Thomas Coutts Morison MRCSE LSA JP, son of Sir Alexander Morison, volunteered to serve as a civilian Staff-Surgeon during the Crimean War. He died unmarried in 1863 in Rockhampton in the Colony of Queensland (Australia), and apparently among his possessions when he died was a Crimean War period Order of the Medjidie. I'm looking for some information on this from the people that really know the Medjidie.

Morison’s insignia is a silver star comprising seven triple quills with seven small crescents and five-pointed stars between them, the whole measuring 43 mm in diameter (one of the tips has been broken off). Is there any way to distinguish a 4th Class insignia from a 5th Class, just from the star?

My impression is that the star is genuine, but there is no entry in the London Gazette because Morison was attached to one of the foreign legions, not the Turkish Contingent. It was probably a field award. Alternately, Morison acquired such a medal and had it engraved as a souvenir of his service....

The gold central disc bears the Sultan’s tughra, the Royal Cipher of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I, after whom the Order is named. Around this is a gold-bordered circle of red enamel bearing the words in Arabic script for “Devotion”, “Loyalty” and “Truth” and the Islamic year 1268 AH (1852) on four red enamel plaques. There is a suspension loop present, fitted at the rear, but the entire central disc is out of position by 90º clockwise. Is this unusual, or likely to be a fault in the assembly of the original medal?

This insignia lacks the typical suspension (a red-enamelled crescent and star suspender with green enamelled edges); this has been removed and the star instead has a horizontal brooch mount on the reverse. The reverse bears a fitted concave silver disc which is engraved to: “Thomas Coutts Morison Staff Surgeon P.M.O. Sultan’s Cossacks”, which I think reflects the writing style of the day.

Any comments or feedback from the experts in the field would be greatly appreciated.


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Hope this helps 2 R's in morrison in Gazette.


The undermentioned Gentlemen being about to

be attached to the Medical Staff of the Turkish

Contingent Force to have the local rank in Turkey

of Staff-Surgeon of the Second Class while so


Thomas Littleton, M.B. Dated 1st May, 1855.

. Henry P. Bennett, Esq. Dated 1st May, 1855.

Thomas Coutts Morrison, Esq. Dated 1st May,


Christopher Wolston, Esq. Dated IstMay, 1855.

William Druce Cattle, Esq. Dated 1st May,


Robert Boxall, Esq. Dated 1st May, 1855.

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