The museum has hundreds of medals in its collection, and this is most definitely one of the rarest we hold.
This beautiful silver-gilt oval medal is from 1779, awarded to commemorate the Battle of Minden on 1st August 1759 by the Commanding Officer of the 37th of Foot, General Sir Eyre Coote. No official campaign medals were awarded for Minden, so Coote designed his own, to be awarded to any men still serving in the 37th in 1779, who had provided distinguished service during the battle. We only have 1 in the museum; we sadly do not know how many were awarded. The front has a portrait of Coote, surrounded by laurel wreaths, the reverse depicts the 6 British Infantry Regiments and Royal Artillery regiment lined up ready for battle. The Latin on the reverse translates as ‘ small in number, but a brave band to wage war’. The detail on this is fantastic, but it’s really hard to photograph without reflections – hence why it looks round on the first picture. For anyone interested, more on the Battle of Minden will follow on Minden Day – 1st August.