This superb Cabinet Photograph taken on the island of Malta shows a proud veteran of the two most arduous mid-Victorian military campaigns - the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. With his thumbs thrust firmly into his waistcoat this man clearly illustrates - even after the passage of decades - something of the stalwart determination the men who formed Kipling's "thin red line of 'eroes".
The man's medals indicate that he was also an NCO during his years of service. The medals, from the center, are the Crimean War Medal, the Turkish Crimean War Medal, and the Indian Mutiny Medal. The last two medals posed a momentary problem since in this photograph they both appear to be the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. A
quick look at a copy of The Medal Year Book seems to indicate the last two medals are the Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. Both of these medals were only awarded to sergeants. Both of these medals used a similar crimson ribbon.
The LS&GC medal and the AMSM were not authorized to be worn together until after 1902 so this photo may date to this period. It is also possible that since this was quite obviously long out of service he did not worry too much about following all the rules of precedence. If he was a stickler for such things he should have been wearing the Turkish
Crimea Medal last of all.
French - Photographer
c. 1890's - 1900's