1812 History
Military General Service Medal
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Military General Service Medal

The Military General Service Medal was not authorized until 1847, 34 years after the last battle it commemorates due to the objections of Wellington. Queen Victoria is depicted on the reverse of the medal, eventhough she was only a girl at the time of the fighting. In order for soldiers to be awarded this medal they had to apply for it. The medal was issued to Sergeant Angus Cooke, who lived in Grantham Township from 1831-1860, for his service with the British Government. Sergeant Angus Cooke joined the 71st Regiment of Foot in Dundalk, Scotland in 1806 at the age of 18. He served with the Regiment throughout the Napoleonic Wars in Spain, France, and Belgium. The Regiment, which was renamed the Highland Light Infantry, was stationed in Canada from 1824 to 1831 before being dispatched to Bermuda. Quarter Master Sergeant Angus Cooke retired in 1831 with 25 years service. Angus Cooke acquired 82 acres of land to farm in what is today the North West end of St. Catharines (then Grantham Township). Cooke Died in 1860 at the age of 72 and is buried in the Hosteller-Muir Cemetery in Port Weller, St. Catharines. A 1 1/4 inch wide crimson ribbon with dark blue edging. The ribbon is attached to the medal with a 36mm, plain straight swiveling suspender with a double toe claw. The circular medal is 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 1/8 of an inch in height and is made of silver. On the obverse is the diamdemed head of Queen Victoria facing left and the words VICTORIA REGINA 1848 in relief. The reverse has a standing robed figure of Queen Victoria on a dias bestwoing victor's laurels on a kneeling Duke of Wellington in relief. Beside the dias is a small representation of the British Lion couchant, in relief. Inscriped is TO THE BRITISH ARMY 1793-1814. There are 6 silver clasps attached to the clip and go over the ribbon with writing on each: TOULOUSE,ORTHES, NIVE, PYRENEES, VITTORIA. Outside edge, stamped into the medal: A. COOKE, 71ST FOOT. The manufacturer of the Military General Service Medal was the British Royal Mint. The Medal was designed by William Wyon, 1795-1851.