Reproduction Full-Size Medals
The present system of decorations is essentially a modern one dating back no farther than the middle of the seventeenth century. A few medals in were awarded to officers during the English Civil War, although the first ‘official’ rewards in Britain were probably those issued to Naval officers following their victories over the Dutch fleet in 1653.
The evolution of medals struck to commemorate, and later to reward participants, in battle or campaign was a gradual process. The forerunner to the modern campaign medal was the Armada medal, of 1588. Initially official campaign medals were only awarded to high-ranking officers. The first medal awarded to all ranks of the Army was the Waterloo medal, issued in 1816.