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Militia Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, awarded to Cpl. J. McNamara between 1904 & 1908

Militia Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1904-1908

Obverse, a bust of King Edward VII facing left

Militia Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1904-1908

Reverse, inscription

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Militia Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, 1904-1908

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 the 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, the remainder, largely units based in Ireland, becoming the Special Reserve.
The Militia Long Service award was given to NCOs and men of "irreproachable character and conduct" who had amassed 18 years' service (not necessarily continuous) and attended at least 15 trainings.
This medal was awarded to Corporal J. McNamara of the 5th Royal Munster Fusiliers. Lester Watson purchased it from the London dealers Seaby in 1927.