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Canada General Service Medal: CM.1232-2009

An image of Canada General Service Medal

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Mint: London
Ruler: Victoria (1837-1901)
Artist: Saulles, George W. de
Ruler: Victoria regina et imperatrix (With the title of)




Colonial Canada's nineteenth-century history did not lack for secessionist movements, all ultimately unsucessful. In 1869, the Hudson Bay Territory, which had previously been an independent possession of the chartered Hudson Bay Trading Company, was incorporated into British Canada, the charter having expired.
This caused much local resentment, and a self-proclaimed general by the name of Louis Riel used this to seize the Company's treasury, take over Fort Garry (now in Manitoba) and imprisoned many British residents. A Canadian expedition was sent from Toronto, reaching Fort Garry, 1118 miles away, 3 months later. Riel had already fled and the rising was quickly quelled.
This medal was awarded in 1899 to those who had fought the Fenians in any of their raids or been on the Red River expedition. This one was awarded to Corporal W. Sinclair of the 2nd Quebec Battery. Lester Watson purchased it at some point before 1928.


History note: Gift of L. Hoyt Watson; ex Lester Watson Collection, bt before 1928

Legal notes

Given by Lester Watson through Cambridge in America, 2009

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 36.2 mm
Weight: 39.3 g

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (2009) by Watson, Lester


Production date: AD 1899

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: Bust of Victoria facing left

  • Location: Obverse
  • Type: Design

Inscription present: Canadian flag with maple wreath around

  • Location: Reverse
  • Type: Design

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: CM.1232-2009
Primary reference Number: 141326
Watson Catalogue: 126
Ordering: M-0115
Previous object number: LW.0115
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 15 January 2024 Last processed: Monday 15 January 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Coins and Medals

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Canada General Service Medal" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-19 12:32:20

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{{cite web|url= |title=Canada General Service Medal |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-19 12:32:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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