- Crimea Medal 1954-6
- Turkish Crimea Medal
Richard Cruikshank served throughout the whole of the Crimea War being awarded clasps to his Crimea medal for Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol. Having arrived in the Crimea as a Corporal, Richard was then promoted to Paymaster Sergeant following the Battle of Inkerman in November 1854.
This promotion strongly suggests that Sergeant Cruikshank was proficient in the 3 R’s; reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. This ability to read and write would have made Richard stand out. 27% of British troops at that time were illiterate, with less than 3% being competent in all skills.
Richard would have worked closely with Regimental Assistant Paymaster Thomas Palmer, whose medals are also in the museum’s collection.
During the Crimea War a British Private earned seven shillings (35p) a week compared to the National average at that time of £1. After having to pay for food, kit, washing and maintenance charges a soldier would be left with little more than a shilling a week for himself.