CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

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CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby Steve Cowan » 14 Oct 2016 00:22

Did members of the Medical Staff Corps receive the Crimean War Medal? If they were in the Crimea, to attend to and collect the wounded for transportation to Scutari, were they eligible for the medal without a bar?

On 11 June 1855 a Royal Warrant was issued constituting the Medical Staff Corps (MSC); originally with nine companies and increased to ten companies by a Warrant amendment of 20 September 1855. The first contingent of MSC members left Southampton on 6 October 1855; my great great grandfather, 121 Steward (promoted from Wardmaster 8 October 1855) Henry William James Hickie (1807?-1885) was with the third contingent that left Southampton on 13 November 1885. (A note by his name on the MSC muster roll of 31 December 1855 states that the ship was going to Balaclava then to Scutari Turkey.)

The Crimean War ended 30 March 1856. By that time the MSC had reached a strength of 1,000 men. And by that time Henry Hickie was one of ten Stewards (equivalent to Sergeant-Major) and was in charge of the medical supplies at Scutari Hospital Barracks, Turkey. (Henry Hickie was known to Florence Nightingale as he is mentioned in one of her letters in 1860 recommending him for employment with her sister’s husband, Sir Harry Verney Bt., but that’s a different story.)

In August 1856 the recruitment into the corps was deemed illegal and inadmissible due to a technical application of the law of enlistment; each enlisted soldier was to be attested into a regiment. The bureaucratic action of simply changing the word from Regiment to Corps on the form was done without legislative action although the MSC was established by Royal Warrant. As such the ranks of the MSC were deemed to have no any army equivalent and, as such, no standing in the army.

The Army Hospital Corps (AHC) was raised by Royal Warrant of 1 August 1857 that same date that the Royal Warrant for the MSC was amended with its reorganization. The MSC was finally absorbed into the AHC in 1860. Henry Hickie transferred from the MSC to the AHC on 17 November 1860 with the rank of Superintendent Sergeant Major; he retired from the British Army on 16 October 1863 after 28 years and 2 days of service; 18¼ years of service abroad.

Steve Cowan
Comox BC Canada
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Re: CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby Larmo » 22 Oct 2016 01:01

Hi Steve

It may be that your G.G. Grandfather never even knew of his Crimea Medals existence, as I found his name among those men whose medals were unclaimed or forfeited, which were to be returned to Woolwich to be melted in 1897. His name and service number, Sergeant-Major H. Hickie 1062 appears on page 40 of that list, which shows the Crimea medals being returned.

His discharge papers clearly state service at Scutari for 8 months 1855-56, but no mention of any Crimea medal being awarded is listed, although his conduct is shown as Very Good-Exemplary, never in the defaulters book, and he was in possession of a silver LSGC.

For what it is worth, I saw numerous entries for medical service related soldiers being awarded the Crimea Medal, Ambulance Drivers, Dressers, Attendants and so on, so why not your Granddad too? I hope this is of some help, I am not an expert, really rather new at this research bit, but I do enjoy digging through these old records
Larry
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Re: CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby Steve Cowan » 22 Oct 2016 17:09

Good day Larry,

I sure would like to see, or get access to any pages of the list you mention.

The other puzzle we have in the research of Henry William James Hickie (1807-1885) is in relation to his Long Service and Good Conduct medal. It is mentioned in his file with a gratuity. We have mention in a family history summary written by his son (Henry William James Hickie 1841-1922) that 1062 H. Hickie received an annuity for an Meritorious Service Medal; so far haven't been able to prove the MSM. At the time (until 1902) you could not have both an LSGS medal and an MSM; the LSGC medal would be returned.

You mentioned a returned medal of 1897 and we assumed this was the LSGC medal; never thought that it might be a Crimea medal.

Any support of a Crimea medal would sure make my year, and that of cousins also doing research. While the medals will never be gathered I will make a digital image of his medals for all to see.

Cheers,

Steve Cowan
Comox BC Canada
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Re: CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby Larmo » 22 Oct 2016 17:28

Hi Steve

PM me your address and I will print off and mail to you pages 1,2 and 40 of the information I found on Ancestry..

Larry
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Re: CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby dianejar » 26 Oct 2016 17:15

I have scanned copies of the Crimean War Medal Rolls, although not name searchable as they are the original handwritten rolls. The Medical Corps (including Ambulance Corps) comprises 62 pages - with duplicates, supplements etc. in WO100-34. Thus it seems plenty were awarded - although not necessarily received.

In my experience the WO97 Discharge to Pension documents for rank and file frequently do not mention medals awarded in the Crimean War or any other conflict. Sometimes the fact that they fought in the Crimea is not even mentioned in their overseas service. In this case you may be lucky to see references in the Medical Report to 'Inkermann', 'trenches' or something else to give you the clue. I always check the medal rolls and casualty list to confirm service in the Crimea. Ancestry provides a good service for medal roll indexes and images - but have been known to miss some. Kevin Asplin's website also continues to offer a good service for medal rolls.

Diane
http://crimeanwar-veteranswa.com
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Re: CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby Peter » 27 Oct 2016 08:12

Steve,

Coincidentally, between your OP and today I’ve been looking through The United Service Magazine.

There are both Official Despatches of Crimean actions and listing of awards by Corps. I could be wrong, but I’m certain there was one for the Medical Staff Corps / The Medical Corps (including Ambulance Corps) / correct designation. While I was reviewing the “Naval and Military Intelligence” sections, there is a Search Text function.

The United Service Magazine
Hathi Trust Digital Library
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000501518

Of course, the Official Despatches are taken from the London Gazette; and I’m sure the award lists are also. The LG being the official source, it would be the best one to search. However, many of us find their Search function capricious.

Regards,
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Re: CRIMEAN WAR MEDAL - ELIGIBILITY FOR MEDICAL STAFF CORPS?

Postby Steve Cowan » 27 Oct 2016 16:55

Good day Diane,

I'm still learning my way through the National Archives records; thanks for the lead of WO100-34. Working my way through the 375 pages of documents.

Cheers,

Steve Cowan
Comox BC Canada
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