- Crimea Medal 1854-6
- Turkish Crimea Medal
Armstrong, a gun-maker by trade, served in total for 21 years, of which 9 were spent abroad (Turkey, Crimea and the East Indies).
In 1851, Robert Armstrong transferred to the 19th Regiment and was a member of the regimental amateur theatre. He served as the sole Armourer Sergeant. His was a key role within the Regiment in maintaining and repairing its weaponry. In 1854 this was the newly-issued Minié Rifle which proved to be devastating when deployed against the massed ranks of Russian soldiers at Alma.
Armstrong’s award is one of only two medals in the collection with the Balaclava clasp, the Regiment not being present at the battle (the other is Private William Bell 1767). His Turkish Crimea medal has a different, ‘unique’ method of attaching the medal to the ribbon. Instead of the usual ring, the medal has been welded to the clasp – perhaps by Armstrong himself.
Armstrong was invalided back to the UK in December 1854 and was discharged from the army in 1868 when he was granted a gratuity of £5.