This book fulfils two roles - first as a guide to British campaign and gallantry medals and second as a guide to the sources and service records to be found in the National Archives at Kew and on their websites.
Duckers starts with a look at the development of the campaign medal, from the earliest unofficial or irregular medals of the sixteenth century, to the development of recognisable campaign medals by the East India Company.
Most of the book deals with the more familiar system of campaign medals, providing details of the various specific campaign medals and general service medals issued by the British Government and East India Company, along with the various bars attached to them. The final chapter looks at the development of the gallantry medal, again from irregular and unofficial beginnings.
Each chapter is supported by a very valuable look at the main records relating to each medal. In many cases this builds up to give a good picture of the available service records, most of which can be found at the National Archives at Kew, along with an indication of which records can be found online (sadly unlike many other archives the British National Archives charge for access to the actual documents online).
This is a very useful book for both family and military historians, and for medal collectors, and includes pictures of the vast majority of medals featured. I found a number of valuable online resources, and have been able to answer a number of recent queries with its help.
1 - Campaign Medals: Early History, Examples of Early or Unofficial Awards, 1650-1800
2 - The East India Company Awards After 1784, Principal EIC Medals 1778-1839
3 - The Earliest British Campaign Medals, 1815-42, Early Awards and Related Medal Rolls
4 - The Retrospective Medals of 1836-1851, The Retrospective Medals and Clasps and their Medal Rolls
5 - Medals for Major Campaigns, 1850-1914, Principal British Medals and Clasps, 1840-1914
6 - The Introduction of General Service Medals, The Principal General Service Medals and Clasps
7 - Researching Medals and their Recipients, 1815-1914: a Basic Guide
8 - Medals for 'the Great War', 1914-18, Researching the Medals of 1914-18
9 - General Campaign Medals of the Twentieth Century, Principal Medals and Clasps, 1914-2008
10 - Medals for the Second World War, 1939-45
11 - Medals for Major Campaigns After 1945, Medals for Post-war Service
12 - Researching Medals and their Recipients, 1920-2008
13 - The Origins of British Gallantry Awards; The Developments of Gallantry Awards; Civilian Gallantry; Principal Awards for Gallantry 1854-2008; Examples of Unofficial and Service Awards for Civilian Gallantry
14 - Awards for Long and Meritorious Service
Appendix 1 - Using the Internet
Author: Peter Duckers
Publisher: Pen & Sword Family History