- 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.