- Crimea Medal 1854-6
- Turkish Crimea Medal
Armstrong, a gun-maker from Birmingham, served in total for 21 years, of which nine were spent abroad (Turkey, Crimea and the East Indies).
In 1851, Robert Armstrong transferred into the 19th Regiment, having originally joined the 38th regiment in 187.
He was a member of the regimental amateur theatre and served as the sole Armourer Sergeant. His was a key role within the regiment in maintaining and repairing its weaponry. In 1854 the newly-issued Minié Rifle was proving devastating against the massed ranks of Russian soldiers at Alma.
Armstrong’s Crimean medal also features the Balaclava clasp. The regiment was not present at Balaclava so it is unclear why this is. There is one other medal in the collection which also features the Balaclava clasp, belonging to Private William Bell.
Armstrong’s 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, having been granted a gratuity of £5; about £600 today.