The Waterloo Medal


One of the first Campaign Medals, the Waterloo Medal was awarded to soldiers of the British Army who saw action at any of the following battles - The Battle of Ligny on 16th June 1815, The Battle of Quatre Bras on 16th June 1815 and The Battle of Waterloo on 18th June 1815.

Awarded to every soldier who was present at one or more of the three battles, regardless of rank, 39000 were awarded when the medal was issued in 1816-17.

Men who were awarded this medal also had an extra 2 years service added to their service record. It was unique because it was the first medal also awarded to the next of kin of those soldiers who were killed in action. The name of the recipient, his rank and unit was also engraved around the edge of the award.

You can search the Waterloo Medal Roll at the National Archives.

It is possible to find out more about them and their career by looking for their service or pension records, which can be accessed at the National Archives. My ancestor Thomas McJannett fought at the Battle of Waterloo and his discharge paper listed his regiment, rank, birthplace, age on enlistment, duration of service and injuries sustained.

It also included a brief description of his appearance along with his trade, and his date of enlistment and discharge. The paper also included Thomas's signature.

It was wonderful to be able to imagine what Thomas may have looked like and to see his signature on the paper. Who knows what you may discover on your ancestor's discharge paper?

Please also view my page about military records to find out how you can find more information regarding your ancestor's military career.