Special Reserve Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct, awarded to Pvt. D. Murphy between 1908 & 1910
Obverse, a bust of King Edward VII facing left
Special Reserve Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct, 1908-1910
The United Kingdom has seen various organisations which have enjoyed the name of `militia', but after the Bill of Rights of 1689 made the maintenance of a standing army illegal, it was usual for such groups to be in some way part of the regular army's structure. From the mid-19th century onwards, this usually meant that such units were considered `extra' battalions of regular regiments. Men could amass a long period of service in the Militia in this way, and this was recognised by King Edward VII's institution of a Militia Long Service Medal in 1904. In 1908, however, the reserve forces of Britain were reorganised and most of the Militia was subsumed into the new Territorial Force, which went on to become today's Territorial Army. Some units, largely based in Ireland, however were left to form a Special Reserve, and this too was granted its own Long Service award, of which this is an example.
To obtain the medal the recipient had to have completed 15 years' service (in the Militia, Imperial Yeomanry, Volunteers or Territorial Force, as long as 5 years of it had been in the Militia or Special Reserve) and attended at least 15 trainings.
This medal was awarded to Private D. Murphy of the 4th Royal Munster Fusiliers. Lester Watson purchased it from the London dealers Seaby in 1927.