Francis Collins

Medals awarded

  • Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Crimea Medal 1854-1856 with clasps for Alma Inkerman and Sebastopol
  • Turkish Crimea Medal
  • Medal Militaire (France)

Francis Collins earned his Distinguished Conduct Medal during the Crimean War. The award came with an annual payment of £5 (about £600 today).

The clasps on the Crimea Medal show he fought at the battles of the Alma, Inkerman and at the siege of Sebastopol. During the war, only 14% of casualties were in battle; disease and the Russian winter claimed the rest.

“From the vineyards and enclosures musket balls were discharged at our line with wonderful accuracy. I stopped to speak to Private Collins. While conversing with him he shouted ‘Oh!’ and put his hand up to his neck. He staggered, but did not fall, and I ran my hand along his stock [a leather neck collar], fancying I could detect blood, but judge my astonishment at finding a conical shaped leather bullet between his stock and coatee collar. The ball struck the glazed thick leather which saved his life.”
Lieutenant George Lidwill.