Medals of the Month - December 2020 and January 2021
These two medals are the oldest medals in the collection of the Australian Army Museum of NSW at Victoria Barracks, Sydney.
Although not instituted as a campaign medal until 1847, the Military General Service Medal (left) was awarded to Henry Forster of the British 28th Regiment of Foot for his service from 1808 in the Peninsular War (battles in present-day Spain and Portugal) against the French Empire in the period 1807 - 1814.The Waterloo Medal (right) was awarded to Henry Forster for his service in battles in present-day Belgium in June 1815, also against the French. The Waterloo Medal was awarded to all ranks who served in this campaign and was the first British campaign medal upon which the recipient's rank, name and regiment were inscribed around the edge.
Henry Forster was a quartermaster sergeant by the end of his British Army career, taking his discharge in New South Wales on 28th February 1839. He was 53 years of age and had been in the colony for three years and seven months.
In June 1839 Henry Forster was appointed by the Colony of New South Wales as Jailer in the Southern Highlands village of Berrima, about 130 km south-west of Sydney. The jail was new and stood on the site of today's jail. Henry's wife Margaret later became Jail Matron.
Berrima Jail closed in 1847 and in October that year Henry Forster became Jail Governor in the Southern Tablelands town, now city, of Goulburn, about 200 km south west of Sydney. As at Berrima, Margaret Forster became Jail Matron at Goulburn.
Henry Forster passed away on 11th May 1861, aged 77 years and Margaret passed away on 21st May 1959, aged 76 years.
For more about Henry Forster, please see the Museum's Objects of Special Interest page accessible HERE.
Lest We Forget
Members of the public are most welcome to visit the Australian Army Museum of New South Wales to see these medals and many other interesting objects. Please click here for visiting arrangements.
Use the dropdown to your right then select "GO" to view the medals from past months.