Admiralty, and Ministry of Defence, Navy Department: Medal Rolls. The National Archives microfilm publication ADM 171, 202 rolls. The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, England.
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This database contains lists of more than 1.5 million officers, enlisted personnel and other individuals entitled to medals and awards commemorating their service with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines between 1793 and 1972. The original medal rolls were compiled by the War Office and are housed at the National Archives of the UK in Kew, Surrey. The rolls include medals awarded for British campaigns and service in Europe, India, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere during the height of the British Empire and into the 20th century. This database also includes medal rolls from the First and Second World Wars.
Using the Records
While medal rolls do not provide very detailed information, the records can include the name, date, and location of a campaign or service, the recipient’s name, and the regiment or unit name and regimental number. Most rolls were arranged by campaign (or battle), then ship or regiment, rank and surname.
The records in this collection can be searched by name, medal or award, campaign or service, service date, ship name, and service number. Volumes may also be browsed by medal and medal roll.
About the Medals
Medals were instituted by the British Army in the early 19th century for officers and other ranks for participating in a military campaign, and clasps indicated service in a particular battle. The Waterloo Medal of 1815 was the first campaign medal issued and was awarded to men who took place in the battle (or their next of kin).
Lists were submitted by ship, regiment or unit for persons entitled to receive certain medals or clasps. There are three types of medals in this collection: for campaigns (or battles), for good conduct (or long service) and for gallantry.