Three court-mounted medals. The first is a round bronze medal with a profile portrait of Edward VII suspended from a red and blue ribbon. The second is a silver round medal with a profile portrait of George V suspended from a red and black ribbon. The third is a round silver medal with a profile portrait of Queen Victoria suspended from a black and white striped ribbon with five clasps.
Medals and Insignia

King Edward VII Coronation Medal, King George V Coronation Medal and Service Medal with bars, awarded to Mrs. E. Denchfield

1902 - 1934
104mm x 109mm

Ever since Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, it has been customary to award a commemorative medal to celebrate Coronations and Jubilees, a tradition which was continued at the recent Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.  There is normally one design of medal that is awarded to all recipients whether military or civilian but, for a short period between the Golden Jubilee of 1887 and the Coronation of George V in 1911, a second type of medal was issued to members of a number of organisations that participated in the celebrations.

The Coronation ceremony for King Edward VII had been scheduled for 26 June 1902, and this is the date on the medal. On 24 June it was announced that the king had caught a severe cold while attending a searchlight tattoo at Government House. The Coronation was therefore postponed to 9th August 1902.  It was originally planned to have a large number of St. John Ambulance Brigade members on duty from all parts of the country.  When the Coronation took place following its postponement, the much-shortened route used for the procession needed fewer members and it was decided not to use personnel from outside London, apart from representative Deputy Commissioners.  It follows that almost all of these medals were granted to members of No. 1 (Metropolitan) District.  Reports show that 912 members of the Brigade were on duty, consisting of 34 Honorary Surgeons, 47 officers, 715 men and 116 Nursing Sisters.

For the 1911 coronation members of St. John Ambulance were drawn from all over the country and this medal is the most common of the Coronation Medals issued to members of the Brigade.  An exact number of recipients cannot be established, but an editorial in the magazine First Aid reveals that the Coronation procession would need 1756 members from London District on duty and the Progress through south London on the following day would require 2616 who would be drawn, additionally, from India, Malta, New Zealand and South Africa.  Assuming that the majority of those of the Metropolitan District on duty for the Coronation would also serve on the following day, the final issue total could not have been below 3000.

The 1902 Coronation Medal is bronze, with a profile portrait of Edward VII on the front, and ‘ST JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE CORONATION OF KING EDWARD VII 1902’ on the reverse, decorated with a crown and foliate designs.  The 1911 Coronation Medal is silver with a profile portrait of George V on the front, and ‘ST JOHN AMBULANCE BRIGADE CORONATION 1911’ in a border on the reverse of the medal with a crown at its centre.

Very little information on recipients of Coronation Medals is available, and there is no definitive list.  The Museum holds publications that refer to events and recipients, therefore limited contextual or circumstantial information may be available.


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