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Meritorious Service Medal (Army), awarded to RSM R. Knight between 1846 & 1901

Meritorious Service Medal (Army), 1846-1901

Obverse, a bust of Queen Victoria

Meritorious Service Medal (Army), 1846-1901

Reverse, inscription with laurel wreath around and a crown above

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Meritorious Service Medal (Army), 1846-1901

Awards for Meritorious Service were instituted in the Royal Army in 1845, entitling the recipient to a medal and an annuity of 20. This was paid from a fixed fund, so that once it had been allocated no further awards could be made unless a recipient died or the fund was increased (it was doubled in 1853).
The very earliest issues of the medal bore a date either on the edge or below the bust, but after 1848 this practice ceased. This medal was therefore issued at some point between 1849 and 1901, when the death of Queen Victoria necessitated a change of the original Wyon portrait on the obverse.
Though therefore we do not know exactly when, this medal was awarded to Regimental Sergeant Major R. Knight of the 12th Lancers. Lester Watson acquired it at some point before 1928.