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Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, awarded to Pvt. Mathew Philips between 1855 & 1874

Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1855-1874

Obverse, a collection of war trophies with the royal shield at centre

Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1855-1874

Reverse, inscription

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Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1855-1874

King William IV's institution of an Army Long Service Medal was continued by Queen Victoria, initially with the same Pistrucci obverse design. In 1860 eligibility was extended to NCOs in the Militia who had done 21 years' service the same as their regular counterparts, and in 1870 it was extended to all NCOs at the point of their discharge from service, although this was cancelled in 1875.
After 1851 the suspension of the medal was changed from the steel ring used on the William IV and earliest Victoria issues to a silver bar more like that used on Victoria's war medals. In 1874 the recipient's name began to be engraved rather than impressed around the edge. It is these two changes of style, between which this medal sits, that allows to date its issue between these dates.
It was awarded to Private Mathew Philips of the 80th Foot. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928.