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The 'Good Conduct' Medal

Since publishing the item on the good conduct medal awarded to students of the RMA, additional information has been supplied by correspondent, Peter Thompson of Preston, Lancs.

Peter reports that his grandfather, Peter William Crouch, registered 9596 in the admissions register, received the good conduct medal.

Face and obverse views of GC medal awarded to Peter William Crouch

Peter William Crouch was eight years of age when he entered the RMA 30 September 1874. His father, Sergeant Henry Crouch (1842-1874) of the 25th Regt. of Foot, The Kings Own Border Regiment in 1874, was deceased. Peter's mother was Mary Ellen Crouch (née Downey). A letter written in 1873 by Cpl. Crouch to his mother was sent from Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland, which suggests that the 25th Foot was stationed in Ireland that year. Peter Crouch is believed to have been born in Fulwood Barracks, Preston, the depot of the East Lancashire Regt., which means the 25th Foot moved to its new station. Following his time at the RMA, Peter Crouch was reported 'delivered to his mother' 19 September 1880 at age 14.

Most students of the RMA who volunteered for military service signed their attestation papers at the RMA and joined their units directly from Chelsea. Peter William Crouch, delivered to his mother, was an exception. It is therefore likely that he spent some time with his mother before enlisting in his father's regiment, the 25th Foot.

Peter Crouch evidently was taught the trade of tailor during his time spent at the RMA because there is later reference in his papers to this trade. He served in the army for a good many years as attested by the medals awarded him. He also served in Imperial India and Egypt. In addition to his RMA GCM, he was awarded:

The long-service medal bearing the image of George V

The Egyptian medal showing a young Queen Victoria on the face and the Sphinx on the obverse. His name and number 3216 on the edge. Crouch had a bar to his Egyptian Campaign medal with GEMAIZAH 1881 inscribed on the bar

A total abstinence medal issued by the Total Abstinence Association, India. It should be noted, however, that some doubt is entertained about the validity of the Abstinence medal. It was not considered by the military authorities a medal authorized to be worn with campaign medals. Furthermore, abstinence medals do not appear in Robert W. D. Bell's Campaign Medals of the British Army or R. W. Gould's Campaign Medals of the British Army or Medals of the British Army. [Editor's note: the official attitude to 'on the wagon' medals is not known. Any reader with information on this subject is asked to contact the web master.]

The Egyptian Star and bar. The medal show the pyramids at Gisa and a pharaoh with a crescent and star on the bar.

Peter William Crouch in adulthood

From what we have been able to gather, the RMA GC medal was introduced about 1850 to be awarded to students of the RMA for good conduct. For how long the medal was in use is not known although Peter Crouch having been admitted to the RMA in 1874, suggests that the medal had a life of at least 30 years.

Whereas the Crouch medal is in bronze, the medal offered for sale on the web was cast in silver and was 36 mm in diameter with a plain red ribbon. The medal (see the accompanying notice) is described as having, on the obverse, the royal arms, garnished, crested and with supporters. On the reverse, ROYAL MILITARY ASYLUM round the circumference enclosing a laurel wreath inscribed across the centre FOR GOOD CONDUCT. Fitted with a scrolled suspender and brooch and engraved in upright capitals with the name of the recipient.

A recent addition on the web under militaria 'medals for sale' is a good conduct medal awarded to students of the Royal Military Asylum, this medal for sale being valued at £400 to £450. Colour party with one of the escort wearing the Good Conduct medal
Again, it is worth stating that the number of GC medals issued is not known. We do know that from the 1920s on, at least, good conduct chevrons (one for each year) worn on the right sleeve signified a criminal-free record.

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