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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 16

Nelson Testimonial Medal 1844, by E. Avern, 61mm, white metal, the obverse featuring a bust of Nelson facing left, enclosed by a garter, 'England Expects Every Man Will do His Duty'; the reverse featuring a view of the Column in Trafalgar Square, with the National Gallery and the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in the background, 'To Commemorate the Opening of the Nelson Testimonial in Trafalgar Squ.', the exergue dated '21 October 1844', pierced for ring suspension (Ref: Hardy 97, M.H. 531), good very fine and rare

The 'Gentlemen of the Parish of St. Martins' had raised a subscription for the purpose of giving a dinner to veteran sailors on the occasion of the ceremonial opening of Nelson's Column. Unsuccessful in this regard, the fund was instead used to strike a commemorative medal to be awarded to the veterans together with a gratuity of 10 shillings. The medal was duly struck and presented on 2 April 1845 to eligible In-pensioners of Greenwich Hospital, being awarded to 39 veterans who had served at Cape St. Vincent, 35 from the Nile, 45 from Copenhagen and 238 who had fought at Trafalgar - total of 357 awards. Milford Haven states that the medals were struck for presentation to the Royal Marine guard-of-honour who were present at the ceremonial opening of the monument but this is unsubstantiated (Ref: Remember Nelson, by Thomas A. Hardy, 2005 and Naval Medals 1793-1856, by K. J. Douglas-Morris, 1987).

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