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Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, awarded to AB Joshua Holdam, 1848

Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1848

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1848

Reverse, a full-rigged ship at sea in a circle of rope

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Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1848

A Naval Long Service Medal was instituted by King William IV in 1831, the year after that for the Army; when Queen Victoria succeeded that issue was for a while continued, but the medal was updated, with new designs by William Wyon, in 1848. To earn it a sailor had to have twenty years' service to his credit, although some had amassed rather more by the time of their discharge.
Some of the earliest issues of the new Wyon design bore the date 1848 in the exergue of the obverse; this was later abandoned but can be seen here. This medal was awarded to Able Bodied Seaman Joshua Holdam, of the third-rate battleship HMS Illustrious, for 26 years' service. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.