The medal was issued in 1816–1817 to every Officer, Non Commissioned Officer and soldier present at one or more of the battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo. Each soldier was also credited with two years extra service and pay, to count for seniority and pension purposes, and were to be known as "Waterloo Men". The medal was announced in the London Gazette on 23 April 1816.

    This was the first medal issued by the British Government to all soldiers present during an action. The Military General service Medal commemorates earlier battles, but was not issued until 1848. The Waterloo Medal was also the first campaign medal awarded to the next-of-kin of men killed in action.

    At the time the medal was granted, when such things were not at all the norm, it was very popular with its recipients, though veterans of the Peninsular War may have felt aggrieved that those present only at Waterloo – many of them raw recruits – should receive such a public acknowledgement of their achievements. Meanwhile, those who had undergone the labours and privations of the whole war, had had no recognition of their services beyond the thirteen votes of thanks awarded to them in Parliament. There was no doubt some truth in this discontent on the part of the old soldiers; at the same time British military pride had hitherto rebelled against the practice common in Continental armies, of conferring medals and distinctions on every man, or every regiment, who had simply done their duty in their respective services.The medal was as much a symbol of the importance of the victory as it was of a desire to give general campaign medals to soldiers.

    Item Description


    This medal was awarded to William Hayward, Driver, Royal Horse Artillery and is officially impressed around the rim. Replacement ribbon.

    Worthy of further research